Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 22 2012 22:03:17

How Important Is Item Location to eBay Shoppers?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has moved the Item Location on sellers' listings from a prominent position under Seller Information to a lesser position under the Shipping section. The move was apparently made in order to make room for outside advertising on paid listings.

Some sellers are unhappy with the new placement of Item location, stating buyers may order some items without realizing they are located outside of the United States.



eBay has been testing ads on sellers' Item pages, as we've previously reported. In the UK, eBay is running ads directly under Seller Information on the top right, which explains the new placement.

Buyers and sellers don't like hunting for information when it moves, and the new placement of Item Location is reminiscent of when eBay moved the "Ask Seller A Question" link from the top of their listings down the page.
 
How important is Item Location, and will buyers be more likely to notice it under the Shipping section?
 




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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 22 22:28:10 2012

I will only buy from USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Not interested in any place else. I don't buy or sell at eBay so it won't affect me personally.

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Thu Mar 22 22:40:48 2012

Today I was checking eBay. I believe that the missing Location was a browser load error because I can't see it. But it looks like eBay is again playing with their template.  

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by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 22 23:20:10 2012

once again putting ebay revenue ahead of sellers and buyers. a recipe for eventual bankruptcy.

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 22 23:38:15 2012

I was searching yesterday to see  a seller's location and I couldn't find it and so did not bid on the auction as I didn't want to buy anything from a seller that did not list their location. I just figured Ebay was allowing some sellers to hide their location, like they do their feedback.
As a seller I will put my location in my ad and apologiize for the unwanted commercial message, stating I have no control over the content.  

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by: Susan T This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 22 23:41:17 2012

I think this is a very bad move.

If you notice in the example when the item location is under the sellers id it is in a lot bigger type than when it is in the shipping section.

Moving item location to a smaller type face can lead to nothing but problems.

I know a lot of buyers that like to buy from sellers close to them, because it cuts down on the ship time

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by: baltimorerecyclers This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 22 23:51:33 2012

If I am looking for a *really* cheap item, I don't mind waiting for it, where ever it may be coming from.  

But many times I am looking for an item that I need relatively quickly, and I *want* to know where it is located, so that I can gauge shipping time.

I very much like Tiffee Jasso's idea ''I will put my location in my ad'', I will follow suit.  

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by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 00:11:49 2012

I'm buying less and less on eBay these days, but the few times I have, I have ALWAYS used the Advanced Search to show only USA sellers. Quite frankly it's a pain in the rear having to remember that, and I wish the preference could be saved. But obviously having the ability to do that is the last thin eBay wants to do. They might as well change their name to ChinaBay.

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by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 01:08:04 2012

I think eBay is doing this to not only open the space for advertising but to open the door even more wider for the Chinese. Since USPS has this China shipping deal going on including free international delivery confirmation, the unsuspecting buyers will only realize their item came from China when they receive it and also when it breaks in less than a week.

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by: sk119 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 01:17:40 2012

  How Important Is Item Location to eBay Shoppers?
by: sk119
       
I think this huge. If I do buy on eBay, I do usually check to see where it comes from, but I'm also disturbed by the ads. I just recently broke down and paid for a store, so eventhough sellers must pay all these fees to list now they are also getting more money to shove ads on my page too. I think listings should be free if you'll allow ads on your page or pay to list with no ads. I personally find ads very annoying and accidentally click on them all the time, but would consider allowing them for free listings. I guess that's eBay for you, always thinking about the almighty dollar and themselves.  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 01:41:58 2012

I will also add MY location to ALL of my listings just so there is no mis understanding.

BUT I suspect that at some point ebay will REMOVE all locations to make it impossible to discover where an item originates.  

this won't matter to me as a seller of mostly used items but it WILL matter to a lot of legit US sellers of new items.

I like to see where my items are located and I love learning where my items are going.  I sell items for a rare form of motorcycle and I always am interested in knowing where these end up and talking to these guys.  And a lot of these go to over seas buyers.

But as with the communications that ebay is trying to wean us off of  this is another form of unwanted and un needed control freakish behavior.

And I DO want to know which sellers out of the US to avoid---like oh say--China.  

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by: bobbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 02:03:57 2012

This was not the only change.  The auction number is no longer shown - that means no snipping. The way the list of search items is shown can no longer be customized.  Can't show location or item number on it.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 23 02:36:08 2012

@bobbie

The item number is still there, it's just smaller and lower.  On the right side.  Just keep going down, it's above the description.  It is however pretty easy to miss as the type is much smaller.

The locations are NOT missing on the listings, they are just in a different place.  Just below where the shipping amount is stated about center screen.  While I honestly don't mind it there and actually I think it's a good place to have it, I do completely understand and respect why other are upset by it.

Change is always difficult.  And with changes, it works for some and not for others.  It's a personal preference that each of us is entitled to.

As for the gapping whole of space on the right.  Well we all know Ebay will be filling that with their advertisement soon.

What I suspect Ebay will do is move to a no listing fee policy when they start using that space as advertisement.  Otherwise I would think they could cause themselves a few legal problems.  Because if we are still paying listing fees, that is like renting a physical space.  They can't just come along and put things in our space that we pay rent for [so to speak].  Now I don't know this to be true, I'm just guessing that they will move to no listing fees when they start this.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Mar 23 04:18:35 2012

It never ceases to amaze me how eBay can demand honesty and integrity from their sellers to the nth degree, however, anytime it suits their corporate needs they fertilize the landscape. On their best day, eBay is less than forthcoming, on their worst day they are flat out dishonest and on most days somewhere in between. eBay's corporate culture is to never reveal the truth when they can spin a yarn that sounds more plausible.

eBay's assault on sellers started back in 2008. eBay sales have been stagnant because eBay is sacrificing merchandise diversity as they kill off small sellers.

Management knows sales are in the toilet because of their policy and system changes, but changes continue and slow sales are concealed with a combination of new fees, existing fee increases, revenue shifting, and the slight of hand accounting practice of inflating GMV by compelling sellers into offering 'free' shipping.

Bad enough that it suits eBay to display less than accurate shipping time projections on seller listings, now they are going to deliberately obfuscate the location items will ship from and further antagonize buyers.

Of course, any seller knows who aggravated buyers blame as the source of their dissatisfaction.

Is it the carrier who miss routed their package??  Nope

Is it eBay who forced inaccurate delivery information onto the sellers listing?  Guess again

Is it the Seller??? BINGO!!!

Sellers will be the ones to feel the wrath of unhappy buyers in the form of low DSR scores - which is fine with eBay because eBay does not want to pay out 20% discounts anymore. Management is counting on the fact that disrupting a buyers ability to make an informed purchase will afford them plenty of ammunition to eliminate more sellers from receiving 20% FVF discounts.

Management considers any type of reward to be lost revenue as evidenced by the higher and narrower hoops sellers must jump through to keep and earn 20% discounts and the slowly diminishing number of categories buyers can earn eBay Bucks for purchase rewards.



Making it difficult for buyers to determine where an item is shipping from has a major impact on delivery expectations. eBay is fully cognizant of this but they have their own not so secret agenda to increase cross boarder sales to impress their Wall Street Masters.

eBay would like us to believe that they are working to increase US sellers sales through cross border trade. This is laughable given the impossible standards eBay sets and enforces with on the spot refunds for false INR cases.

The truth is that eBay wants US buyers to purchase more non US goods so that  revenue can be parked off shore and eBay can avoid paying US taxes on that revenue. This is the true motive behind their desire to increase cross border sales and their underhanded methodology.

The first move to accomplish their agenda will be to make seller locations more difficult to determine. The next move will be to flood eBay.com with listings from China. Soon, eBay will remove the ability to narrow search results and force pot luck on all buyers. eBay will eventually make it mandatory for sellers to ship domestically as well as internationally as well as meet TRS requirements for each in order to qualify for receive 20% discounts.


Of course, if you choose to, you can drink the kool aid and believe their hogwash about the change being related to the placement of paid advertisements.

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by: Oh, For Goodness Sake This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 08:53:27 2012

I LIKE the change in placement of item location, although it appears that I am in the minority.
The bid/buy area in the top center of the listing page now contains information that buyers previously had to look in several locations to find:
Price
Shipping cost
Ships From/Ships To
Accepted Payments
Return Policy
I only wish they had added handling time in the same area. I HATE finding an item with the right price + shipping located nearby, then open the shipping tab to discover a 3, 5 or even 7 day handling time hidden in the details.
In those instances, I could order from the distant seller with one day handling, and receive it sooner.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 23 10:21:01 2012

We don't buy on eBay anymore.  We can't control eBay's anti-seller behavior, but we can control where we buy.

We used to spend hundreds of $$$ on business supplies and personal items on eBay.  No more.  As long as they continue this assault on small and medium sellers we will purchase elsewhere.  I find it hard to believe that we are the only ones who have taken this stance.

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by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 11:11:53 2012

Location is very important to me. I want to be sure that the product is American or Canadian before i buy.
It's a matter of trust. Especially since communication is going to be more difficult.
I think other buyers feel the same.

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by: BetterThingsToDo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 12:37:51 2012

I don't care where the item is or where it is coming from as long as I just get it.

I'm to busy with my life to worry about the petty stuff.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 15:20:50 2012

What does it matter to ebay...the almighty dollar reigns supreme and ebay needs LOTS of those..... ;-p

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 23 15:24:54 2012

@Rexford.....I stopped buying on Ebay long ago.  Every once in awhile I might throw a couple of small items up for sale there but nothing like years ago when I had a store and sold 50 to 60 items a month.  For sellers and buyers they seem to be on their last leg.  Since then, I buy mostly from Amazon and witnessed their customer service first hand just this week.  My Kindle Fire went flooey and I contacted them.  They did not offer to fix it...they simply said they would "create" a new Kindle Fire for me and send it out express mail.  Yesterday I got the new one and the return label to send the broken one back.  I was surprised to see they populated the new Kindle Fire with everything my old one had including all books and apps.  Now, that's customer service in my book.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Mar 23 15:39:15 2012

This seems like a logical place to include the information. But I still don't trust eBay... and the fact that this change is being done to accommodate above-the-fold ad space (ie: ads people see BEFORE they are able to read my product details) is truly a slap in the face.

Ah, but you'd think I'd be accustomed to it by now... but it still stings.

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