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

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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.

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

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 21 13:51:07 2018

Wenig's hero must be Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22.
Actually, Wenig could be Milo's hero.

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

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 21 14:35:20 2018

lordy lord ....

1) like the GENIUS (LMAO) poster himself (whos in CA) ... the IDIOT DW is in CA now, running a CA based company. That he came from NY is not relevant - unless you mean to say that NY moron liberals are the same as CA moron liberals.

GENIUS - please stay on topic

2) Ive been to Flatbush - I lived there for 16 yrs - never met him or his wife. Short ride to Coney Island, good food, nice people - Manhattan its certainly NOT - but where else can you live "relatively inexpensive" (not everyone will agree to what that means) and be in downtown Manhattan in 45 mins (subway)

eBay said many years ago - and everyone scoffed "that small sellers are NOT a viable source of income" - they werent joking then and he isnt now.

eBay has tried MANY ways to squeeze out smaller sellers and has called them NOISE - and other terms. eBay FIRMLY believes that smaller sellers are the ones that cause "ALL THE PROBLEMS" - and so they put in place directives.

There are those who still think eBay is an "ecommerce company". NO they arent. They dont buy anything, sell anything or own anything. They may be an INTERNET company - but not much else.

Seinfeld was the show about nothing, and eBay is the company with nothing - no products, nothing.

Being CEO of a company that has no products (but like a leech/vampire) makes money off others is the BEST kind of company EVER.

APPLE has to produce and sell product to make revenue, even Google has to sell ads and did run an ecommerce section. eBay does nothing - they ride on their sellers coat tails.

DW & Co saw eBay and pounced. All you do is sit back and rake in the millions. You buy a big building, get a corporate jet, a few company cars and hire 200-300 cheap overseas workers to "control" the people who make you money. You call, the overseas controller tells you ITS YOUR FAULT ... and you slink away.

To make more money, you tighten control(s). 30 day returns OR ELSE (as told to me by eBay at the Toy Fair), pay for pay and you get your own rules, placement and enjoy a life or Reilly.

These new rules continue down that path. All eBay has to do is take in more money. Its VERO dept does that, Retruns do it, FVF on nothing does that - ALL parts of eBay bilk sellers.

In no other place can you create a contract and charge for a service and not provide it (charge for listings then not show your item). EXCEPT in eBay land where the illegal becomes legal.

Lets see if eBay has the "balls" to try this stunt - you know they will when they announce that listings will be FREE from now on  .... that makes it legal since theres no "expectation" (legal term) anymore .....

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: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Feb 21 14:54:17 2018

@isthisreal - While I would love to have the eBay of the early 2000s back, as others have been saying for years, I think the best course of action would be for them to divide the site so you have eBay Classic (or whatever they want to call it) that has vintage, one-of-a-kind, rare, collectibles and OOAK merchandise with an emphasis on auctions, and eBay Craptastic (okay, I know they wouldn't use that) that has Chinese junk and commodity items that are all fixed priced.

The problem with this plan is that eBay appears to have a business plan that does not include sellers of items you can't find at Wal-Mart or Target. Ever since JD first called the small sellers "noise," the writing has been on the wall. No matter how many times Devin states publicly that he wants to "reconnect with small sellers," all his actions prove otherwise.

Even if eBay were to have a "Classic" site you have the problem of enticing the sellers back. So many people (myself included) have left eBay because of the lies, tricks, and general disdain eBay has shown to the sellers who helped build the site. Can we really trust them ever again to do the right thing and not hide our listings, tell us they are initiating the "lowest fees ever" while they actually raise them, and throttle our sales with hidden selling limits? eBay would need to do a lot to assuage our distrust.

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: bitbybit

Wed Feb 21 15:39:16 2018

FREE means UNSEEN

.... this year replacing the current listings based shopping experience to a product based shopping experience - and it will become the ONLY way to shop on eBay....

My take on this is Ebay does not want the paying advertisers to get wise to the fact they have been hiding listings for years and wasting all of their paid ad dollars. Much, much bigger of a deal than bilking their own sellers. Looks to me this is Ebay's new way of keeping those big buck advertisers happy and at bay.



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: BuildingMyOwnSite

Wed Feb 21 16:10:59 2018

@iheartjacksparrow

I'd love to go back to Ebay.  Playing by Google's rules, is no fun at all, and FAR too complicated.  Too much CARP & not enough running the business.  In fact, I fully expect to be ''Back In The Saddle Again'', over in San Jose, real soon .....

That is, AFTER Ebay is taken over, and the ENTIRE management structure changes.  And/Or, any new Classic Site would have to be independent of the other Ebay, with it's own NEW management.

That would HAVE to happen, as no way would Wenig & Co. EVER say: ''Guess our way wasn't the best for Ebay''.....   ''How 'bout we go back to something more like the original?''.

There is NO HOPE for old management to assuage the level of bitterness, contempt, and distrust that exists among sellers that know what is going on at Ebay.  Why would ANYONE believe them?  New management would be NUMERO UNO when it comes to going back, along with a BELIEVABLE MISSION STATEMENT.

Maybe I'll start buying inventory..... or maybe just play it safe and wait a little while.....

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: Beanie

Wed Feb 21 17:08:54 2018

"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity". Written by Thor Heyerdahl. This is Ebay in a nutshell and fits Donuthole and Weingnut to a T.

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

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 21 18:08:35 2018

I doubt they will actually attempt to implement Wenig's little "story" this year.

And if they do, they will undoubtedly foul it up to such a degree that they will be forced to dismantle the changes after a few disastrous days.

Then management will claim it was an enormous success and move slowly forward with a half-assed version pretending everything happened just like their boss had dreamed it would.

And in the end, small and medium sized sellers will take it on the chin once more during the days of chaos, and eBay management will bend over backwards to make sure their large preferred sellers are cushioned from the effects of this boondoggle.

In 2018 eBay will continue to tread water with zero percent growth and Wenig will continue to pretend he has a single viable ideal on how to improve the site.

In short, the lying and BS will continue. Nothing positive can possible come out of eBay management offices until every single person on salary is fired and escorted out the door.

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

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 21 18:35:13 2018

ebay must have at least a dozen MBAs, so it's now believing that it has become a Think Tank.
They should let those guys go out for lunch, and send them home on the week-ends.

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

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 21 19:15:19 2018

@ Beanie

Absolutely, in a nutshell, right!  

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

by: ladywoodspirit This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 22 09:14:19 2018

I've shopped as well as sold on ebay a good bit over the years, but this new product crap will send me packing. I'm the only one who knows "exactly" what I want & I despise having search results manipulated to show me only what ebay wants me to see. Even over the last year I've found it difficult to find what I'm looking for on ebay. So much so, that I've just been waiting until I can get into town & buy from a local retailer if the item can be locally found. I can honestly say that I also find something very unappealing in Wenig's choice of wording throughout some of his statements over the last few weeks (in particular). It's as if he's saying ebay is going to be what he wants it to be & buyers & sellers will like it whether they want to or not.

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

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 22 10:11:51 2018

@Beanie You got it
@Ladywoodspirit Don't you just feel the luv in the wording on anymore

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

by: isthisreal This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 22 14:58:24 2018

Hiraldo Rivera: ''What could possibly be in Al Capone's vaults!?''

Steve Harvey: ''And the winner is!''

Sally Field: ''You like me, you really like me!''

Devin Wenig: ''Four buy boxes''

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

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 22 17:58:04 2018

Every time ebay messes with the search my sales go down.  They have done this product based thing in books before and sales plummeted.  I expect no less this time.  It''s a shame because sales were just starting to pick up this month. :(

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

by: extremetm This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 23 15:20:02 2018

Hopefully some large venture capitalists are following this and will be ready to start a legitimate alternative where we can sell.

As for ebay, the most vapid, abusive, disconnected group of copycat ingrates in the online world.

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