|Fri Oct 5 2012 21:52:16|
eBay Ejects Half.com Listings
By: Ina Steiner
Half.com sellers were shocked this week to see that their listings no longer appeared in eBay search results, which had included HDC listings for the past 5 years. Sellers will now have to list their Half.com inventory directly on eBay - and pay eBay listing fees - if they wish their listings to show up in eBay search.
eBay sent a letter to Half.com sellers, but the wording was ambiguous and called the change a simplification. It was actually a version of the same letter it sent to eBay sellers in media and consumer electronics that also had recipients scratching their heads about what it meant.
We decoded the eBay email in this EcommerceBytes news story on Tuesday: eBay made a major, unannounced change to search in the media and consumer electronics category this week, and now shows individual listings instead of category-based "product cards."
eBay's Ryan Moore confirmed today that items listed on Half.com were no longer appearing automatically in eBay search results. Moore told me that Half.com sellers now needed to list their inventory directly on eBay to be included in eBay search results and said, "We understand this requires some additional steps for Half.com sellers."
What about fees? "They will have to pay the normal eBay fees when they list their items on eBay," he said. Half.com sellers normally don't pay listing fees and pay up to 15% in commission fees if their items sell.
Adding insult to injury for Half.com sellers was the way eBay handled the announcement. One seller wrote on the Half.com discussion board on eBay: "What makes this change even more frustrating, is the fact that there was zero notice. I have been getting emails and updates and messages since July about the "Fall Seller Updates" and the ability to add pictures to eBay messages, starting in October (Wow, how groundbreaking is that!). So for something as minor as that, I get four months notice, but for this change, I get an email on the day it took place?????"
Another wrote, "It seems it would have been simpler, more straight forward, more honest, more respectful, to just Announce to Half.com users that 'we regret to announce that due to system changes on eBay and incompatibility issues, the HOE (Half on eBay) program feature is being discontinued'. It would still hurt, still elicit outrage, but at least not be insultingly phrased in techno - gobble-di-gook, and patronizing BS."
eBay has always been ambivalent about HDC, which it acquired in 2000. At one point, it planned to integrate Half.com into eBay and close the site, but reversed that decision in 2004 and later began including links to Half in media categories on eBay. Beginning in early 2007, eBay added all Half.com listings to eBay search results.
It's a tough time of year to face reduced exposure in search as holiday shopping is beginning, and Half.com sellers are scrambling.