Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 21 2022 10:20:03

Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Jamie Iannone will share information about changes sellers can expect when he participates in a keynote presentation at eBay Open at noon eastern today.

eBay has not stuck to its commitment of giving sellers lots of advance notice before making changes by grouping them into 2 - 3 "seller updates" a year. For example, eBay has announced changes to fees in certain categories outside of the seller updates. And yesterday, it sprung a big surprise on sellers in certain categories. 

Whenever it announced a Seller Release, eBay makes changes to Categories and Item Specifics. But yesterday, eBay announced it had already started making changes in Collectibles (Figurines); Parts & Accessories (Motorcycle, Scooter, and UTV/ATV); and Home & Garden (Candles & Home Fragrance, Home Décor, Pillows, Furniture, Window Treatments & Hardware).

eBay wrote in the announcement, "During this transition, your listing experience could be temporarily impacted, as well as the visibility of your listings. You may notice some item specifics changing names, listings moved to different categories, or some listings temporarily not appearing in searches." 

Category changes have proven disruptive in years past, and one seller replied to the announcement, "Just as the holiday selling season starts! I guess they learned nothing from last year."

We'll be covering the keynote address and will update this blog post as news hits. 

Stay tuned!

Update 11:25 am: The seller "networking" session kicked off at 11 am Eastern. Here is how eBay describes the opening keynote that will kick off at noon: 

"Get company updates, insights, and announcements straight from eBay leaders including President & CEO Jamie Iannone, SVP, Global Markets Jordan Sweetnam, SVP, Chief Business & Strategy Officer Stef Jay and more!"

And here's a list of eBay employees (and three eBay sellers) scheduled to speak during the keynote:

Jordan Sweetnam - SVP, Global Markets, eBay

Andrea Stairs - VP, Global Markets - Seller Community & Marketing, eBay

Jamie Iannone- President and CEO, eBay

Stef Jay - SVP, Chief Business and Strategy Officer, eBay

Thomas Walker - Senior Director, Consumer Insights, eBay

Adrian Fung - VP, Customer & Performance Marketing, eBay

Dawn Block - VP, Global Markets - Verticals, eBay

Rob Veres - eBay Seller, Burbanksportcards

Liann Ho - eBay Seller, watchshopping

Eddie Chung - eBay Seller, SoleStage

Gabe Middleton - eBay Seller, Human-I-T

Adam Ireland - VP & General Manager, U.S.

Update 12:08 pm: As Jordan Sweetnam's role has grown to include European responsibilities, Adam Ireland is taking over US business as VP & General Manager, U.S.

Update 12:15 pm:  There are 3,824 attendees showing on the screen. Andrea Stairs said 80% of registrants are first-time attendees.

Jamie Iannone is currently speaking - expect to hear a lot in the coming sessions about how eBay is working on trust to drive loyalty and bring customers back, he said - he's discussing his "tech led imagination" strategy.

Update 12:20 pm: Iannone discussed features such as coupon codes and videos. He said eBay will announce a new tool called "Buyer Groups" during the conference, which will help sellers tailor experiences. He also discussed eBay's push into "Live Commerce."

Update 12:22 pm: Returns will go through the eBay platform for international orders through its Global Shipping Program. (Look for more details on this,...And here it is.) 

Unpaid Items - eBay will fix this problem by the end of the year.

Update 12:27 pm: Iannone gave a heartfelt thank you to sellers amid macro challenges across the world. He referenced the "magic of our community" and said, "We're working every day to make eBay better for you." His presentation is over.

Update 12:35 pm: eBay's Chief Business and Strategy Officer Stefanie Jay is discussing "Enthusiast Buyers" who make up the majority of eBay GMV (sales on the site) - 70%. It's an important presentation, since the number of buyers on eBay is declining each quarter.

- they spend 9X more than on-enthusiasts
- they make purchases 30 different days/year
- they spend $3,000/year

There are 4 categories of Enthusiast buyers:

- Sourcing Pros
- Category-centric buyers
- Value seekers
- Horizontal Buyers

eBay talks a lot about focus categories, Jay said, but that's because enthusiast buyers also make purchases outside of their main category.

Update 12:55 pm: Stefanie Jay is interviewing 2 sellers - interesting conversation. 

It doesn't appear eBay will be announcing big changes anytime soon...signing off from live-blogging for now. 

PS: Also see Jordan Sweetnam's post on the eBay Seller Announcement board.

Update 1:00 pm: eBay is now running a session on its plan to drive long-term growth including Andrea Stairs, Thomas Walker, and Adrian Fung (see their titles above). 

Walker is discussing research, including seeking the answer to the question, "Why should consumers choose eBay?"

Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 15:06:35 2022

I appreciate the support from everyone (even Marie) =)

Im not naive, nor is this sport for me. eBays survival is VERY important to me - Im its biggest critic, but Im also a big user/advocate.

Not finding things in search effects me as a seller (even) more as a buyer. No biggie if I cant find some 1950s tin toy - theres always the Chicago Toy Show and many others, BUT if "I cant find me, a buyer cant find me either).

I want eBay to thrive - I NEED it to be the Anti-Amazon that it could be/should be.

Maybe thats selfish - I can agree that it is - but I think that for various reasons - almost ALL of us - if we could get it done on Amazon (where on any given day their traffic is 100x eBays) we would. But we cant - so we are stuck with eBay.

I "thank god" for Mercari and Posh (Reverb doesnt do so well for me but what ever) - because eBay has become the JERKS that Amazon became/is.

Some here sell items that dont fit Amazon, or need MORE then what Amazon can offer, for me - Amazon gates so many brands that I sell, that theres no point in even listing anything there anymore. I want/need eBay to be the place that "I can call home", put all my efforts in (and leave Marie alone =) LOL) and be successful.

But sadly at every turn, eBay turns me into the enemy. At every turn, eBay hurts me, steals from me, harasses me - and all for no good reason. Why block people like me from the Refurb program???? What did I do to deserve the "treatment"? Is my %100 feedback - not good enough? is my on time payments since 1998 not enough? Do I need to marry Jaimes daughter to get in? Why harass me with VERO - we all know the law(s) ??

I have no idea what eBays up to with this stupid meeting. NONE of it effects me (thank the lord), so I can now go back to wondering why theres no business over the past 2 weeks and figure out - how much of my bank account/soul/life force I need to sign over - to make some sales.

Jaime went on the internet,
cause he was looking for a sellers soul to steal.

He was in a bind (with WS) ,
cause he was way behind (dividends) and was willing to make a deal.

He came across a seller, selling prime goods and doing great,
Jaime jumped up onto the internet and said Pace let me to you what

I bet you didnt know it, but Im an eBay seller too,
and if you care to pay up for advertising - Ill make a deal with you ....

Now you sell a pretty good items, noise
But give the mafia its due
I'll bet a few good sale against your soul
'Cause I KNOW I'm better than you"

The seler said, "my name's Pace and it might be a sin
But I'll take your bet, you're gonna regret
'Cause I'm the best seller there's ever been"

Pace, go list those items, and sell those goods hard
'Cause Hell's broke loose in San Jose, and the Jaime devil deals the cards
And if you pay up, you get to make some good sales
But if you lose, the eBay gets your soul

(hat tip to Charlie Daniels)

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 16:09:50 2022

Well I dont know whats going on, and frankly I dont care. Bottom line is I cant buy 100k in inventory and only ever sell 40k of it. It seems like the other 60k ebay hides in search. Even if its not hidden in search doesnt matter. Thats whats happening.

Yes, I can pony up XX% for promoted listings. But why? Then it becomes more expensive than selling on Amazon / FBA. Some of the items thats what I am going to do. Box it up and send it to Amazon after the holiday season. Some of the inventory I will be selling on Reverb, if not all. Those examples of what sold in an instant just shows somethings not right on ebay. How can I have an item not sell on ebay for 2+ years then all of a sudden I sell 2 on reverb in less than 24 hours. Ebay has been great for me for a long time, but lately it is like an anchor around my foot.

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Sep 22 16:26:22 2022

Hi iheartjacksparrow   :o)
In my almost 20 years selling on line I began by accepting checks and money orders....everything goes smoothly....
Pendulum swings towards electronic payments ....
and now the pendulum is swinging back to paper payments.
This is how people control their debt load. "If you need credit to get it you can't buy it". It's a phenomenon I've seen before.
Also staying away from "Invisible Money" ....tangible money is better.
I have plenty of time....no rush at all......
My clients are heaven   :o)

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Sep 22 16:33:09 2022

Forgot to mention the Game Parts multi millionaire who, in 22 years , has NEVER taken a credit card or "magic money" EVER.
People are More than happy to pay it his way.....
He's GLOBAL.

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 16:41:26 2022

Processing payments incurs a fee, it's just always been like that. And ebay has to get some $ of course. But not if they are going to hide my listings. I have roughly 1/5 of my ebay listings on reverb. Since noon I've had 5 sell on reverb. and 8 on ebay. with 20% of the listings???? What does that tell you. It has been roughly the same the last few days.  

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 17:30:50 2022

Ebay has always been tailored towards inventory that isn't long tail. They purposefully derank and limit visibiity on listings that aren't newly listed, don't have frequent sell through, or don't have a high click to buy ratio.

Ebay is a grocery store and you are paying for shelf space. Want sales? Buy that end cap.

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 17:34:00 2022

I am confused.....so they had this big conference and no real changes have been announced?

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 18:33:24 2022

@ShortSeller

Yes, I have items that sell fast. But have always had visibility somewhat to the items that were not fast sellers, but did have a market.

I sell in one category. Musical instruments. I have to have both items, the "in items" that sell volume fast, and the items that have been reliable sellers but slow. It seems like the more items I sell the lower my over all sell through rate is.
I would think that this does not work for me and a lot of other sellers.

If ebay wants to pick and choose what individual item is going to be sold by who, rather then letting the customer decide, then They will see a huge seller exodus.
Like I said why would I pay xx% for promoted listings when I can send it to Amazon for the same amount, and not have to pack packages everyday.. They are nuts.

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 23 16:43:53 2022

@Geetar

They care about buyer conversion rates, not who sells to them. In the industry we refer to this as surfacing relevan search results. The problem is ebay has done a catastrophically piss poor job with their implementation of item specifics and reorganizing of categories. When you can't navigate or narrow results manually, results get skewed towards an algorithm that has been badly designed. To use a retail analogy they are keeping the bread and milk hidden away in the warehouse while putting the same products on every end cap.  

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Sep 25 21:37:08 2022

""Very few tech companies have been able to prove that they have an extended shelf life, and unfortunately, it seems that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is not one of them."

What do you consider an extended shelf life? eBay's been in business 27 years!

"Year to date, shares of eBay have lost 40% of their value"

So has 80% of the stocks listed on Wall Street.

"Dude - its a website - do you need 10 thousand people to maintain it?"

Google is just a website, they employ over 156,000 people!

How can you be so bitter?

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Sep 25 21:44:01 2022

eBay search works or I would've sold this!

I paid $199 for Mr. Crunch and $250 for Darkside (unpictured in the listing)

Yea, I sold it for that much! (i have to admit I was a little worried)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/125489635317

Perminate Link for Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference   Tracking eBay Changes Coming Out of Today's Seller Conference

by: CT Bay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 08:42:21 2022

I noticed one comment that mentioned Google finding ebay items that ebay didn’t show in search. I noticed this as well, almost everyday, when researching pricing.

The day after I list an item I go back and put it away. I search my active listings in seller hub then I put the location in the custom label field. I have come across five instances of a brand search term not bringing up an item when it is represented verbatim and case correct in the items title. Last time it was “Delta.” Its like the algorithm keyword takeover is bleeding into my own inventory search.

The manipulation of search to this extent is selling me something and then not providing what you sold. That should be illegal.

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