Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Feb 11 2015 22:33:14

eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

By: Ina Steiner

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When visitors click through to an eBay listing, they can see photos and structured data at the top, followed by the seller's description. eBay turned on a switch on Wednesday evening in which some visitors can no longer see the description unless they click a separate button.

According to one user, clicking the button brought up a popup box containing the description. The user then had to close the box before they could see other parts of the listing page.

A seller wrote on the eBay discussion boards that she was "heartbroken" at the way the listing page now looks for her. "I spend so much time writing descriptions and taking great pictures. Loading them to the web, writing the HTML. I'm kind of heartbroken that the listing page looks so bad now."

She continued, "I just listed 2 antiques for more than a hundred each - who the heck is going to continue buying that kind of piece when the listing page is so ugly and difficult to read?"

Another eBay user was not so polite, tweeting, "eBay now wants to hide item descriptions behind a mouse click. What the actual fuck?"

They continued to vent on Twitter, "Whoever proposed that idea, and those who saw its implemention on the site for testing, have clearly never used the site before," and added, "eBay is frustrating."

However, not all users are seeing the new feature, which appears to be a test eBay is running. We asked eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore tonight if that was the case.

See Thursday's EcommerceBytes Newflash for more details, and let us know what you think.

Comments (172) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:12:56 2015

My guess is that eBay is doing this
so thy get more 'clicks'. The more clicks the more they can attract
advertisers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: CNYC This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:14:33 2015

I don't think its a horrible idea at all. A large percentage of shoppers now use a phone or iPad to buy. It is not easy for them to view the description portion which contains a lot of information the seller is relying on being read. If this bold link to it helps any, then that is a plus. JMHO

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: CNYC This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:14:34 2015

I don't think its a horrible idea at all. A large percentage of shoppers now use a phone or iPad to buy. It is not easy for them to view the description portion which contains a lot of information the seller is relying on being read. If this bold link to it helps any, then that is a plus. JMHO

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:16:03 2015

Confusion , confusion ,confusion, I guess Ill respond to all emails from ebay , it says don't respond , as it confuses the computer. You confuse me , Ill confuse you deadbay. Respond , respond , respond. Deadbay idiots!!

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 12 10:18:40 2015

I think eBay was trying this out on a very limited basis over the weekend as I encountered a listing with seemingly no description, and the bottom of the page filled with "snapshots" of other sellers' items that were related to my search criteria. It was only after I scrolled back and forth that I saw the link to get the full description.

comet states: "Must be something in the air or water."

Since here in California we're facing a fourth year of a major drought, I guess it's a lack of water that's affecting eBay executives' brains.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:19:05 2015

It is ALL about the mobile sales angle.

There have been headlines across the board, for the past few weeks, about how much higher mobile sales were this Christmas season. eBay, in their usual less than sophisticated manner, just decides here is how to make our site conform, (and make us more profit), without worrying about unintended consequences, like important info not being seen by the Buyers.

I can't tell you how many Messages/Questions I've had to answer recently, using the same opening ''As we stated in our description...''

It will certainly cause more chaos, if people think there is no description included.
I-Phones can handle a full auction page, so let it.

eBay needs to stop trying to fix the unbroken, by constantly over-reacting to every trend that comes down the pipe. It would just save them from having to repeatedly back-track to correct their unnecessary changes.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: NavNav This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:38:06 2015

I just got off the phone with eBay CSR.  The rep opened up my listing and he verified that he did't see such a link and that the full item description was there.  He was using Firefox browser.  But on Chrome browser the link is there.  I asked him if he knew or heard something about this new listing change and he said he has heard of no such thing and ebay hasn't made any changes to the listing pages.  I opened up IE and went to my item page and the full item description was there.  It seems to me that this "See Full Item Description" Link only appears on Google Chrome browser.  
Anyone else have the same experience or using a different browser to verify?

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:41:40 2015

Its there on every browser I tried.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Thu Feb 12 10:51:36 2015

Ebay tried this once many years ago and the uproar int he community changed their minds.

I think they are doing this now because they think everyone will be ordering using a mobile device...  

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 12 10:52:02 2015

CNYC, so you'd rather them not instantly see the item description, click the order now button, and then file an item not as described when they receive the item because they did not take the time (or were to lazy to) click on the description link and read about the item that they are actually ordering.

Good luck with that!

Most ecommerce sites clearly show an item description and you don't have to click on buttons to see them. They're just there.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 10:54:07 2015

Called eBay to give my daily discontent with current issue and the CS said she would try to contact the department that initiated this ludicrous idea of hiding the description.  She also said she would try to get our ID blocked from this "test" that is going on.

Might be worth a try to call them and ask to have your ID blocked from this supposed "test" with hidden description.

I might as well be submitting listings with white font, and slide the tomb cover over it - this is a killer idea.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Thu Feb 12 10:54:59 2015

Ebay thinks that everyone will be using a mobile phone to order... but a mobile device is any device such as a phone, ipad, other pad, kindle, and any computer running a CHROME browser or the windows-8 version of IE. Also, a lot of laptops, when using cell-phone signal or wifi show up as a mobile device.  

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

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

Thu Feb 12 10:57:18 2015

Could this be some sort of slight-of-hand that's designed to fool search engine spiders and bots?

Perhaps the eBay programmers (policy-makers?) want to show a specific ''lite'' version of a page when a spider hits it. Perhaps there is an embedded ''nofollow'' instruction on the page and the spider ONLY includes the lite version in the search engine database (ie: without following the ''click for more'' link).

If the ''click for more'' link is actually activated, then the eBay program can be fairly certain that a human is viewing the page, and then additional details will be displayed.

I'm not an expert on such things, but if my hypothesis is true, then it's likely to be something that search engines frown upon. I'd always believed (perhaps incorrectly) that search engines would penalize a site if it served-up special pages to the spider that differed from what the general public would see.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: westonperry This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 11:37:43 2015

As a seller, I object to ebay making the information I present buyers subordinate to their pre-filled blocks.

As a buyer, when I'm sifting through 20 listings of essentially the same item, I want to know at a glance the details that will shift my decision (condition, size, cleanliness) -- even the seller's tone, in their text can sway my buy/don't buy decisions.

Before realizing what was happening, I clicked past MANY listings because I thought sellers couldn't be bothered to provide detail. It was only in editing my own listings that I realized I was targeted to be an unwitting guinea pig for this particular format change.

In complaining to a seller-friend, she had no idea what I was talking about. We could look at the same item, she would see the description I would see ''the box.''

Not only is it a bad strategy for my market segment, it feels really sleazy that ebay made me a ''tester'' without any pre-release notification.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: niceDoggy

Thu Feb 12 11:42:06 2015

Perhaps this is an Ebarf cost cutting move, like lay-offs. Maybe they are ripping out servers and selling them on Bonanza, and this new 'description button' thing is to cut down on data traffic. Stop shoppers from complaining about slow download speeds. Just Sayi'n.

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Thu Feb 12 11:50:54 2015

Oh I almost forgot : Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah ! eBay is a joke HA HA HA HA HA HA !

Seeing this company waste away is quite fun after all the stuff they did to destroy me and other good sellers also !

Buyer, Sellers alike RUN RUN RUN ! This ship is going down ! Nothing here no more, go to other online shopping sites !

eBay is over with, and it ain't coming back and I could care less !

JD is an @ss in my opinion, who got rewarded for destroying an American Icon ( eBay )

Wenig is the stooge to mop up and look like he cares or eBay is awesome, when Pay Pal splits, I think eBay out to make an announcement that Thank you, but we are closing it down !

I am done with the hoops, the stupid ass games, the rotten buyers, the stress for no profits, the 180 days claims

I will find my inner peace, and the first step to my healing is to get myself off of eBay's abuse list

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 12:09:04 2015

Anonymous Annie you touched on something I hadn't thought about.  

Will all the details, spec's, misc. part numbers that would be found in the description area,  now be omitted from being found from search engines?  Since the description is a separate button, will Google be able to extract that information for search results ?

Wont this kill all relevant information that would be in the description from being found at all except for eBay's search (only when you click title and description) ?

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 12 12:16:19 2015

it was bad enough when buyers did not read listings, now there will be double the returns as buyers cannot see condition, this really comes into play when using cell phone apps. now sellers will be defected off line from another brainstorm of ebay,

im glad I joined speeditrade at least it is a fair selling platform and requires both sellers and buyers to register. unlike ebay were buyers can just simply abuse sellers and open a new buyers account with a new cell phone number


ebay I am afraid is a thing of the past, I no longer hold any stocks sold them all 4 months ago

ebay is the worlds most hated venue


ebay means
Every
Buy
Against
You

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

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

Thu Feb 12 12:47:45 2015

Test on no, you don't really expect eBay to give any consideration to anyone but themselves, do you?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions   eBay Forces Shoppers to Click to View Item Descriptions

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

Thu Feb 12 13:06:39 2015

How many buyers actually read the descriptions? Could the button be? Click this button for description and require them to read it before they can buy and checkout.
Oh I forgot! this is ebay they want the buyers to file nad claims

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