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: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 10:07:00 2015

Change the mobile app!!!!

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

by: GrumpyHam This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 10:46:03 2015

Another idiotic move by eBay.

On the plus side, does not seem to be a widespread test. I forced myself to look around on the site for a half hour, only found a couple listings with this abomination. May be category dependent.  

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.

Mon Feb 16 11:36:53 2015

"I see that Ebay is going to "protect" sellers by deleting any negative feedback received because an item wasn't as described."

Time to pull up the boot straps, its getting deep around here.  So eBay is going to tell sellers then if you get a defect or negative that they are going to "protect us" and remove it?   How ?  All the Reps have to say is nope that buyer was not part of the "testing, your item does not qualify". They aren't going to know if you were part of the test or not. We have multiple users using the same ID, some of our users were being tested and some were not within the same network.  Does this mean it was IP targeted or randomized or something else...  

eBay's response is hogwash.

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

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 11:55:43 2015

LOL eBay never misses a chance to do something absolutely stupid.

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: Ming the Merciless

Mon Feb 16 12:42:20 2015

@ TraderBoo

"Most return claims are because of bad or inaccurate descriptions..."

And you know this to be fact because?

Oh, I remember. It's always the seller's fault and certainly not due to any buyer fraud.

Sheesh! Get real.

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

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 12:44:41 2015

This was the final straw for us, we got our approval and are moving all of our listings to Amazon, we're done with ebay.

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: Ming the Merciless

Mon Feb 16 12:48:57 2015

If ebafia really wanted to "protect" sellers, they would have canned Brian Burke a long time ago and his grossly substandard, mismanaged staff and stopped running beta tests live.

Too many departments, too many useless inexperienced employees and middle managers engaged in destructive busy work to put on their resumes, and far too little little (if any) nterdepartmental communication and coordination.

Ebay became a bureaucratic mess under Meg Whitman, and it has done nothing but deteriorate into a wider and deeper cesspool in a in John Donahoe's shallow gene pool.

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: Ric

Mon Feb 16 13:38:47 2015

Sellers need protection from the stupid feature tests the site continually rolls out which decimate sellers and alienate buyers.

Since eBay started this test, my sales have gone from flat to non existent.

eBay supposedly lives and dies on the data it retains, so if they want to see how well this mobile feature really works, they need only look at their own data instead of running an ill conceived test.

If they scrub the data they already have, and look at the percentage of returns that have already taken place for items purchased by mobile transactions, they would have the answer they are looking for without testing live on the site.

I am betting that mobile transaction return rates are significantly higher than non mobile transaction return rates.

Problem solved, question answered, end the stupid test.

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

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 14:05:35 2015

Ebay will protect sellers alright.

Next time they will hide the entire listing to keep this from happening again.

"Ebay Logic"

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: Unicorns and Rainbows

Mon Feb 16 14:11:39 2015

The sad reality is that eBay is run by idiots these days, and this bit of idiocy pretty much takes the cake.  

Their point man on dispensing smoke and mirrors misdirection showed up on the Selling Board to basically explain that they hide Descriptions from people using "mobile", and they want to test to see if giving everyone a "uniform experience" will help sales.  

They'll hide your Description, but put their ridiculous "Delivery Estimate" front and center for everyone.  Naturally when YOUR buyer complains, they'll blame you, and say you deliver a "bad buying experience" and either raise your fees or suspend 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: Unicorns and Rainbows

Mon Feb 16 14:14:30 2015

"'Most return claims are because of bad or inaccurate descriptions...'  And you know this to be fact because?"

Fact? You mean because the description was really bad?  Or, did you mean because that's what the buyer CLAIMED?  

They get free return shipping for making that "CLAIM", you know... it doesn't have to be true!

;)

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: askalice59

Mon Feb 16 15:54:54 2015

Yes but can they save us from all the listings hidden by the search engine???

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: askalice59

Mon Feb 16 16:03:40 2015

If anyone has noticed, the site is extremely wonky lately because the corporate raiders are running it on bare bones so they can take out as much money as possible before they totally gut it. Feel the ground starting to rumble and shake? Get out of there as fast as you can! Pompeii is about to blow and you'll be buried with all of your listings. Download them to a file or another site.  

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

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 16:48:37 2015

So, according to a follow-up posted by Ina today, some eBay mis-manager surnamed "Terrell" promises - please, suppress laughter! - that eBay "will remove any -FB that it identifies [sic]" as resulting from the hidden description F/U.  IOW, same ol' same ol' - you take what you get from eBay and like it!   When a buyer Ding's your DSR's [BTW, no mention of those - HMMM?] and Neg Bomb's you, some dimwitted CSR will make a final decision as to whether the damage stems from eBay's F/U or not.  Anyone prepared to accept those odds?  I didn't think so!

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

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 16:51:51 2015

Poster "westonperry" says "…clearing the cookies on my ..browser solved the viewing problem…"

No, it actually doesn't…unless you can magically "clear the cookies" on the machines of millions of potential buyers!  What YOU, the seller see is immaterial; you only care about what BUYERS can see, and only eBay's "crack" IT Team [ie. the Indians on crack!] can control that.

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

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 17:02:42 2015

Poster "askalice59" posits that the corporate raiders are out to "totally gut" eBay and based on the announcement that they're planning to hand 80% of available CASH over to the buyers of PreyPal/PayPig, how can anyone dispute that?   The only +Spin anyone can take away from that is that the new eBay owners will be FORCED to stick to CORE COMPETENCIES - yes, difficult to ID, I grant you! - in going forward.  No more of what I call "Disruptive Disruption" as typified by this latest F/U.  No more incentive to force PayPig's abuse on its paying customer base - the sellers.  Somebody OTHER THAN the clueless JD needs to grab the wheel and right the sinking ship, a la the fictional USS Caine caught in a typhoon while Capt. Queeg stubbornly ordered a continued course to destruction.  

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

by: OmiGosh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 18:50:15 2015

eBay is going to "protect sellers?"  That's funny right?

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: The End

Mon Feb 16 19:27:52 2015

Ebay is getting "Etsyfied".
Very disconcerting at the least.

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

Mon Feb 16 21:15:23 2015

Moore says "it was designed to simplify and improve the buying experience"

What the H***!!!!

Are these guys really this idiotic?  A while back they were pushing (and insisting upon) item specifics, lots of photos, and definitive descriptions.  Now they want to hide them.

This management clearly does not and never has sold on eBay beyond an occasional sale.   This nonsense will just open a floodgate of returns.

I am SO SICK OF THEIR FREAKING EXPERIMENTS!!!!!!  THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO RUN THIS COMPANY!!!!  BUT THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO RUN IT INTO THE GROUND!!!!

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

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 16 22:57:26 2015

Well I just took the time to tell the rocket scientists at eprey what I thought of their new "layout' via the  "tell us what you think" tab. I said I thin it sucks and that it looks like something designed for sufferers of ADHD with only a mobile phone as a way to access the internet. ( No I'M NOT trying to make light of a medical condition so please don't "flame" me)  

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