Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 19 2018 20:46:57

eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay will move to a new "product based" shopping experience on a large scale this year to replace the current listings based experience - and it will become the only way to shop on eBay, according to the company's CEO Devin Wenig.

Speaking at a Wall Street conference last week, he talked about initiatives such as structured data and product pages (they are "evolutionary" and ongoing) along with his priorities for the year, which include customer features built on structured data:

- eBay's Guaranteed Delivery program will expand quite dramatically this year, not just in the US, but around the world.

- eBay will implement a significant simplification of C2C (consumer to consumer) selling.

- eBay will expand the Authentication program for high end goods into new categories this year.

But Wenig described the biggest change coming to the site as a move from a listings based marketplace to a product based marketplace.

He described the challenge for shoppers looking on eBay for a particular smartphone - there may be 10,000 iPhones, and now it's the shopper's job to find the right one, he said. eBay is looking to change that through its catalog (structured data) approach.

"In a catalog world, all of that is coming together and being compressed, and we're showing you the best (iPhone) for each of the unique aspects that represents eBay. Rather than just have a Buy Box -  because that's not really eBay - you might have four."

Wenig said in that example, eBay might show four iPhones rather than 10,000: the best price for a new iPhone, the best price for a used iPhone, the best price for a refurbished iPhone, and "the best analog for the iPhone, which is an Android phone at a different price." 

"It's that breadth - what we internally call "spectrum of value" - that is so unique to our marketplace, better than anywhere else."

He talked about collapsing the complexity. "Nobody wants to go through 10,000 iPhones. Show me the four best options."
 
"I think this is the year you'll really gonna feel us on that efficient frontier of choice versus simplicity. That's to me when it really starts to get unlocked. You're going to see us move wholesale categories into that in 2018, and that will be the only way you shop on eBay. So it's really exciting this year." (In this context, Wenig was speaking about moving a large number of categories, not categories in which wholesalers sell.)

It's a big gamble for the company, given Wenig's revelation that the new experience would become the only way to shop on eBay. And he failed to address what would happen to the 9,996 sellers of iPhones that don't make it into one of the 4 Buy Box positions and their counterparts in all of the categories where the new experience rolls out.

Comments (114) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 02:12:52 2018

Oh goody! Does this mean if we ook for something, such as a simplcity pattern, we won't get simplicity brand carburators mixed in with the 4. One of the things he didn't mention of the 4 items that would be shown was the sellers feedback. I guess that is not relevant, so someone with a feedback score of 70 might have their item in the #1 slot. What if people want to buy from a seller with 100% positive feedback instead? The whole thing sounds as ridiculous as 'spectrum of value' whatever that means. At the same time he is talking about the breadth of the market. Does he not understand what breadth even means? With a possible 10K results, that is breadth, not whittling down to 4 items. But then ebay for a long while has seemed to think they have ESP as to what buyers want.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: nofeebaypal This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 02:29:48 2018

ebay is so not in reality. This ceo does not even have a clue about the scammers on ebay. Meanwhile he does not care about the people who put ebay on the map in the first place. When they make this collosal mistake, other sites will start picking up the customers. One day I will put up a website to take out ebay. I am building the base now. It will be a site with the sellers who have been kicked to the side. There will be no score either. Scammers will need to take notice because we will weed them out and they will not be allowed on the site. An american ecomerce site with americans only.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: CardyChung This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 02:35:05 2018

I can see from the buyers point of view, if they were looking for mainstream branded items, which will all have their bar codes and product identifiers, this would make sense. If I want to buy a brand new Galaxy S8, just tell me who's got the cheapest...

But this is terrible for sellers! Structured Data makes it really hard to differentiate our products. All of a sudden, if the UPC is the same, they're all the same product, so buyers' decision criteria would usually come down to just price, which means the cheapest guy wins.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: challengersteve This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 02:46:45 2018

I have bee lurking here for years but finally decided to post my feelings. I have been a professional seller on ebay for 15 years and sold casually for a few years before that. I sell original used and NOS vintage auto parts and did really well up until about 7 years ago. I have several hundred thousand invested in inventory and basically have a vintage auto salvage yard with close to 100 parts cars and hundreds of thousands of small individual parts (all very desirable for restorations). I have purchased at auctions and bought out huge lifetime collections of vintage parts inventories. I had multiple full time employees and was selling close to 20K a month just on ebay. Then stuff started changing. My sales slipped no matter how much I listed or what price I put it up for. I was a TRS for years and still maintain 100% feedback. I was forced to lay off my employees and basically work alone as I was relying on ebay for the bulk of my business income (very stupid decision!!). It seems my sales have topped out at 5K per month for the last few years are slipping even more in the last 4 months. I have struggled with money for the last few years and had hope ebay would get their stuff together but this is most certainly not the case. If this new announcement is put into place it will basically kill my ebay business and thousands of others. It has been a slow death for the last few years and I am DONE!!!!! I am also professional auto restoration technician (ASE certified master tech as well as ASE certified body tech) but was relying on ebay and not my shop for most income as I had so much invested in inventory. I started shifting my efforts to my restoration business and have been doing great with the BS involved with ebay. I can actually TALK TO MY CUSTOMERS ON THE PHONE unlike ebay where they are not your customers but ebays (in their mind). THANK GOD I know how to do something else that ebay or I would be bankrupt. I read a great business book recently (The millionaire fastlane, MJ DeMarco) and he stressed the point that if you are not 100% in control of your business you can be shut down in an instant and it is really not a business at all. You are at the whims of the clueless, over educated idiot MBA's with no real world experience that are trying to run the site you are selling on even though they have NO CLUE how to do that themselves. I really think this will be the death of the small ebay seller and I am sure it is planned this way.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: Lahav-CampaignGO This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 04:47:46 2018

@steve
I'm selling used electronic parts for 15 years now
Invested huge amount of money in inventory.
Last week I layoff my stuff, I will keep doing eBay alone till I'll find a job and then close my business.  I'm very sad but that life! eBay neglect their seller, they do not see sellers as partners and now when everybody is leaving they are under pressure so they do more mistakes. it is so unstable company, as business owners, we all have to take action to reduce this risk = leave eBay. The day we are leaving our customer goes with us.
IT WAS GOOD we have to understand it is not good anymore!
All the best,
Dr. Lahav Gan

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 04:54:15 2018

eBay - eBayzon - Ebazon - Emazon - Amazon!

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

This user has validated their user name. by: Shane

Tue Feb 20 06:01:58 2018

What's the point of being a good or top rated seller anymore? A bad seller can just undercut the price and show up number 1 in search. This is nothing more than a race to the bottom -- just like Amazon. Except on Amazon, sellers don't have to pay listing fees. Bad for sellers. Bad for buyers. Bad for stockholders. I don't see how eBay is going to survive after this.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: C.Page This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 06:14:27 2018

As a shopper on eBay, if I were given only 4-5 "recommended" choices, that would be my last visit to the site! What about sellers who've paid (and put in the time) to list their items...will their items not necessarily be shown??? This just cannot be....

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 20 06:32:56 2018

"eBay might show four iPhones rather than 10,000"

That equates to 9,996 hidden sellers (CUSTOMERS) who won't be happy.  9,996 unhappy customers to please 4 handpicked sellers.  9996 customers who will likely go elsewhere.  Who on earth would continue to pay fees for this nonsense?

What a hell of a business plan.  What eBay need is a "customer based" CEO.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 06:39:06 2018

What a shame that eBay management can't see beyond their pockets.
I don't understand how Wall Street can't write about the actual truth that sellers are going through via eBay laws.

I have never promoted my eBay listings, but my listings on eCrater. Why should I pay high commissions for my promotion work to eBay.

I am so glad that I have my 2 shops on eCrater and that they are becoming viable. I still have another shop to be created over there and will promote that eCrater more.

For me, Amazon is worthless. I haven't purchased a book over there for more than 3 years.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 06:41:13 2018

How will sellers that are restricted to MAP get their product in the 4 buy boxes?  There could be 100 sellers with the same price.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 06:54:19 2018

This WACK-JOB "idea" could.   COULD  be a good thing for SOME BUYERS, but only if it were an OPTION that such buyers could ELECT to use.... not when it is the VERY FIRST THING that all searchers would be shown.  Hold your brickbats.  I said OPTION.  Along with all the other PERFECTLY CORRECT examples of why this change would be STUPID it would also SEVERELY constrain any listing that  was priced as MULTIPLE QUANTITY for a SINGLE Price.  By that I mean, selling 4 each of the SAME item in a single listing vs. ANY Listing that was for MULTIPLE QUANTITY, but priced as ONE EACH.  Under this NEW SCHEME the person selling  4 each of a $% item for $15 would be FROZEN OUT of the BUY BOX with those selling ANY quantity up to their inventory limit for $8 each.
How many people would actually GUESS to "search" for  4 ea iPhone 8+ battery replacement kits at a BARGAIN price?  That person would search "iPhone 8+ battery replacement kit" and only see whoever was selling them ONE by ONE.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 07:00:55 2018

ANOTHER EXAMPLE:   Right this minute there is a   FRAUDULENT  seller on eBay who is selling HOME BURNED DVD-rw Illegal / pirated / counterfeit copies of RARE and Out of Production HOLLYWOOD movies s BRAND NEW and as though they were Authentic.  OK, more than one, but this ONE SELLER is just TOO OBVIOUS FOR WORDS.  ALL or Almost ALL of  20+ listings show a Only One Photo.... and that ONE PHOTO is a GOOGLE Images of the THEN-CURRENT 1950s 60s 70s MOVIE POSTER that would have been under glass in the LOBBY of Brick and Mortar Movie Theaters.
Under this NEW SCHEME this JOKER would be in the BUY BOX for Brand New DVD of whichever TITLE he stole from the Copyright owner of THAT movie.  Want an extra little CUTE MOVE?  Nearly 1/4th of this COUNTERFEITS are  DISNEY STUDIOS.    

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 07:16:45 2018

yes it's crazy.
yes it will hurt sellers,
yes it's bad for buyers,,,
yes it will hurt ebay

don't be fooled thinking these people are stupid, they carefully plan these moves, to drive the stock up and down. buy low, sell high

the only stupid ones are the sellers, who are not making plans to sell elsewhere

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Tue Feb 20 07:21:58 2018

When ebay has lost Toolguy they have lost everyone.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: Lahav-CampaignGO This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 07:38:30 2018

eBay traffic cut by half in the last two years....
they grow 6% percent this year way beyond the market!
eBay management is under huge pressure!
Instead of starting from the basics, build a strong community of sellers (like the did 20y ago). Provide them with a clear and stable marketplace, good tools for managing their store and business, education and information centers etc'.
They want seller with software that takes items from Amazon and sell them on eBay. You buy from eBay you bet nice package from Amazon next time you buy directly from Amazon. Once you switch you never come back....

:(  

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 07:43:28 2018

It is about time someone authenticates and collapses Mr. Wenig

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 07:46:17 2018

So what will Mr. Wenig show in the refurbished category if there are 4 identical iphones except one has a 1/4" scratch in the upper right corner of the display, the other in the lower right corner, there is another one with a scratch in the lower left corner and the last one has an identical scratch in the upper left corner?

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: walkinwillie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 08:15:20 2018

While I am not happy with this at all, I have spent most of my time marketing on applicable forums, cross linking auctions myself, social media and just getting the word out any way I can. My eBay followers have increased, I only sell in collectibles so I think I will be OK. The sellers that are really going to get hit will be the true commodity sellers and that's a shame. eBay should do a lot of testing before they roll out this new search.

Perminate Link for eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity   eBay to Change Search to Collapse Complexity

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 20 08:22:49 2018

THE END.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5 6  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.