Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Oct 9 2019 00:14:33

eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is running a back-to-the-basics social media campaign showcasing four features with a tagline, "Time to get your search on." It lets shoppers know about (or reminds them of) features they might not think to use. 

Two of them are basic features you'd expect to see on an ecommerce site - Watch List and Saved Searches. The other two features - Best Offer and Image Search - are less common.

eBay's Twitter account posted the following message on Tuesday (Oct 8, 2019 at 2:42 pm):

Have you used the latest shopping features on #eBay?                                                                        
- Watch List
- Best Offer
- Saved Searches
- Image Search
Time to get your search on

People who click on the Tweet are taken to a landing page that provides a general explanation of the Watch List feature with a link that leads to a page providing information about the next feature (Best Offer), and so on, as follows:

Feature #1: Watch List

Find an item you like, but not quite ready to buy? Add it to your Watch List.

The seller will be notified, and they might even make you a better offer!

Plus, it makes finding other listings you like easier in the future.

Feature #2: Best Offer

eBay gives you the option to pay less than the sticker price.

Look for the Best Offer option on many listings, and offer the seller your desired price.

If accepted, you can save a bundle off the listed price.

Feature #3: Saved Searches

Can't find the exact item you want? Save your search and get notified as new items become available.

No more checking back repeatedly. Just opt-in to receive emails and/or push notifications on the app.

Feature #4: Image Search

eBay makes the whole world shoppable.

Don’t know the name of the item you’re looking for? Use a photo to find it instead.

It's just as easy as it sounds: 

See it. Snap it. Shop it.

The last page links to another page that asks visitors, "Which do you think is the coolest new feature?" Depending on which of the four features they select, they're taken to a landing page with more information on how to use the feature.

For example, if the visitor clicks on "Watch List," eBay takes them to a page with the following explanation on how to create a Watch List:

Start Watching.
To create a Watch List:

1) When looking at a listing or at your search results, select Add to Watch List beneath the buying options to save the item for later.

2) You can view the items you've saved to your Watch List by going to My eBay, and then select Watching.

Take advantage of this, and all of eBay's other amazing features that simplify your shopping experience and guide you to finding exactly what you want.

If the visitor clicks on "Saved Searches," eBay takes them to a page that explains how to save a search, and likewise for "Best Offer" and "Image Search."

eBay used a service called Jebbit to power the campaign. You can check it out yourself - here's a link to the eBay Tweet that you can click on for the full experience. Let us know if you think the campaign will appeal to shoppers.

Comments (27) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 06:05:53 2019

"Take advantage of this, and all of eBay's other amazing features that simplify your shopping experience and guide you to finding exactly what you want."

"Exactly what you want". Ha! If only.

So far, it's been exactly what eBay wants. These 'amazing features' dusted off from spreadsheet purgatory and bannered to the masses as 'renewed' will be masking a personal demographic snapshot of you every time you use it.

And 'simplifying' your 'experience' means using that pixilated dossier to bombard you with more of what they want to promote as the solution to your consumer quest. If not during the um... 'experience' unaknowledged as yet by eBay one will face riding Cassini, then later clogging your inbox. (Psst - those take up processing bytes maybe better suited to expand capacity limits perhaps?).

Everybody's doin it though. Ok. Whatever. Future shock and all that.

Only, that "exactly what you want" part still hangs out there. Because if they can't get that right, the rest, no matter how suitably functional, or even As Described, ail their claim of amazing s just chocolate coating cardboard.

Noticing they don't mention auctions either. Perhaps in their instruction booklets.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 06:15:12 2019

To little to late to help. Most of the people that have left are gone forever and those who had stuck around don't believe the hot air from san jose.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 07:50:21 2019

Agree with previous comments.  Getting back to basics should mean fixing the search function.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 08:57:59 2019

I've actually given up on this selling season coming out well for us. Starting up the garage sales to clear out the garage - my last hope - there are no buyers left - period. Just a few stragglers looking to steal something cheap to re-sell elsewhere. I'm finding it very hard to stay focused on ebay these days.  Wish it was different

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Cargo11 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 10:51:45 2019

When it takes time to read and learn yet another college course (click) and then WAIT (Click) for items to appear that are NOT even what you are searching for (Click) - the slower time to upload both the advertisements inside and listing - the Current Buyers are long gone - they have gone to Amazon for their Prime Selections/Free Shipping and Easy Returns to Kohls, to the local places and other websites.  The more things change the more they stay the same - And of course this is today's NEW new and improved version - until it's not and then - you as a buyer have to take a new course for them to over-snag your data and sell it - want that new dress?  Soon it will be - add your pants size, shirt size, height, weight, ss, zip code etc.  and we will show you the exact fit - courtesy of the China Manuf. that makes all of our listings you'll see.  Ebay - still worth a good laugh.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 14:27:55 2019

A 25 year old company that brags on being an industry leader going 'back to basics'. Ouch.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 16:17:44 2019

When the basic selling fee gets back to 5%, call me.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 16:36:55 2019

That is not back to basic that is back to root of the problem.

Image search = stock photos sold and items resold from amazon

Setting a watch list makes ebay email you frequently to let you know "good 'til cancelled" listings are renewing causing buyers to turn off notifications unknowingly turning off the ability to receive offers from sellers

Saved search filters were broken years ago and remain un fixed. Even to this day searching auction by bid count reveals buy it now items I don't want.

Best offer is very offputting to buyers who actually want to negotiate but either get blocked by sellers for it or get a counter offer 10 cents below the buy it now price. For this reason buyers tend to avoid making offers as a waste of time. Auto accept and auto decline rules badly needed in this area.


This is the heart of most of ebays problem other then their pricing. May items in collectable categories are just moving to the more traditional auction companies.

The fight to remove all sellers selling unique items that led to the amazon drop ship era is the ebay version of stage 4 cancer. Every smile box received by every ebayer is one more bad experience making the buyer feel ripped off by shopping on ebay, and the cause of amazons tremendous growth.

Back to the basics would be an apology we know we made a mistake campaign like the one that saved Hardees back in the 90's. Just make returns mandatory and invite back all the perma banned shipping DSR's or defect return banned sellers. Then remove growth prohibitive selling limits imposed on those who are completely innocent.


Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Oct 9 16:38:27 2019

ebay gets back to basics until next week when a salvo of new changes come forth until the following week and the next and so on.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 16:43:17 2019

another bunch of nonsense from the self proclaimed greatest tech company

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 17:55:13 2019

Future growth is very questionable. At least in the near term.

Why dont you start with fixing what you got? Fix all the bugs and glitches. Expand your computer infrastructure, go back to promoting small sellers, auctions, and "pre-owned" items.

Where you went wrong:
-You implemented cassini, and by doing so rigged the deck. You hid listings based on whats best for ebay and not buyers. You showed buyers what you want and not what they want. IN ESSENCE, YOU HANDED YOUR BUSINESS TO AMAZON.

-You raised fees, and when you couldnt really raise fee's any more, you concocted schemes by different ways, penalties,  (FVF on shipping).. then when there was no more you decided on Managed payments, even though you do not have the tech experience to pull it off.

-You thought you would become AMAZON. You did away with (or tried to), auctions, vintage, preowned, and lower cost items. You made a big push against calculated shipping (and are trying to put the final nail in the coffin w managed payments per transaction fee). Calculated allowed customers a huge way to save big on shipping. All you did with these actions is allowed websites like Mercari, poshmark, and reverb to come about and thrive.

All of the features on this marketing promotion are expected, and should be available. You are not creating anything new. Why bother spending the money on something like this?? Do something new. Do something that appeals to millennial's.

It's all in black and white. Stop handing your customers away to other sites. AND YES, THIS IS WHAT YOU DID. WAKE UP! The longer you wait, the longer and harder it will be to bring the company back to true growth.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 17:57:54 2019

@RL15

"another bunch of nonsense from the self proclaimed greatest tech company"

It's like the movie groundhog day.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 19:26:15 2019

To quote good ole Al "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"......Wake up Ebay!! If you want different results walk back every damned roadblock you put into place that tanked the core marketplace's bottom line because it tanked ours.... let us sellers sell; that would truly be getting back to basics....You will make more money and so will we!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Oct 9 20:39:09 2019

Here is a small example of the problems with eBay Search.  Just now, I was looking to buy some button cell batteries, specifically a 5-pack.  I want to get them fairly quickly, so I am searching US only.  I entered the search criteria and got this typical message:

''We removed some search results to show you the most relevant listings. View all results''.  (The View all results is a link.  I'm sure you've seen it.)

I had the search sorted by ''Price + Shipping: lowest first''.  When I clicked on ''View all results'', FIVE listings appeared that were lower in price.  Also all US sellers.

So even though my desire, as evidenced by my search, was to find the lowest priced listings, eBay, in its infinite wisdom and top notch technology, couldn't figure out that these 5 lower priced listings might in fact be relevant.  They showed me these extra 5 low priced listings, but how do I know that there aren't more to choose from?  Maybe there's 20 of them.  They hid them the first time, what games are they playing this time??

So just an example.  And as bad as the eBay Search is, the Amazon Search is exponentially worse.  A page cluttered with non-matching offerings, tons of ''promoted'' type listings mixed in, what a mess.  And if you sort the search, like Low to High, it won't hold.  If you change a search term, refine it a bit, your sort order has now defaulted to ''Featured'' again.  So you change it again, and again....  What a drag.

It's really quite simple programming, I would think, but after all these years, neither company can accomplish a logical search.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 9 23:00:48 2019

My Saved searches have been unusable for 5 years now. I have been on Ebay since Pierre owned it and quite well know what I am doing. It's not me.
Search items by (exempt sellers) is what I am talking about. Through customer service/phone help and extensive research, It is beyond useless and I have given up long ago.

Their code has been altered so many times it's beyond un-fixable. So...what were they saying?  "Back to basics"??  Don't make me laugh. A website with its search feature not functioning properly, yeah. That's basic alright. 1997 basic even.
As most have stated, people are long gone and are sick of their tired rants and empty promises. It's colloquially embarrassing telling anyone you are even associated with Ebay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 10 01:39:32 2019

None of that speaks Back to Basics to me! I was there when things were pretty basic and auctions were exciting to watch. I doubt that I could sell today an old hairdressing magazine that I picked up for a dime could got go auctions and sell for $40 which I did years ago on eBay. Bring those days back and chop the fees and chop off half of the rules and let folks run their own businesses and that would be back to basics for me!

None of what they are advertising as back to basics is the basics. How old are these guys running the company? Were they even alive or old enough to remember eBay at the beginning?

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Thu Oct 10 02:20:12 2019

Moonwishes:

Probably not. My youngest son who is now 31 remembers when I started selling on eBay many, many years ago but he had just turned 10. I used to go to the Post Office 6 to 7 days a week to ship my packages with a USPS container or two that were filled. Now I only do it 3 times a week to drop off a few and check my PO Box.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 06:13:32 2019

it don't matter what these idiots do , you can't sell anything if they hide the listings , and can't be seen. they have done too much of something , and fried all their brain cells.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 06:22:25 2019

Good marketing start.  It's not trying to be Amazon or Target.

Perminate Link for eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign   eBay Gets Back to the Basics with New Campaign

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 08:00:28 2019

@Lightning

I would 100% agree,

ebay thinks that manipulating search, is helping them, but in reality it's the opposite, it's, a total f'in mess, buyers run away from this stuff, I see the exact same issue, you never feel confident about a purchase, when you believe better items could be hidden,

Buyers are confused, they get spooked by this type of search manipulation, they do not purchase, it's just that simple.

buyers and sellers will never return in high enough volumes to save ebay , they are too far gone at this point


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