|Mon June 24 2013 21:07:02|
How Should eBay and Bonanza Improve Seller Photos?
By: Ina Steiner
A picture is worth a thousand words - unless it's a really bad product photo in a marketplace listing!
eBay and its smaller rival Bonanza are both trying to get sellers to improve the quality of their photos, but they are taking very different approaches to the problem. eBay is taking a "get your photos into compliance or else" approach, while Bonanza is taking a community approach, but both approaches are rubbing some sellers the wrong way.
eBay rolled out photo requirements last year, and it will begin enforcing them next month. Sellers are concerned, and we've devoted a lot of coverage to this issue as the deadline fast approaches. Here's one of the most recent articles that outlines an eBay glitch that added to sellers' frustration in getting (and keeping) photos in compliance.
Today, Bonanza told users about projects it's working on, including:
- Allow community to mark bad pictures as irrelevant and earn tokens for doing so;
- Allow community to suggest item description edits and earn tokens for doing so.
In the comments section of the announcement, some Bonanza sellers took offense at the idea that other users would criticize their photos (and/or listings). Bonanza's Mark Dorsey explained, "The idea is for the community to be able to make suggestions to sellers on images that may need help and also descriptions that may need help. Whether a seller accepts those suggestions or not is entirely up to that seller. More details coming as the feature is developed."
He then gave an example: "A bad picture could be a listing for a Chanel Purse that has your stout Uncle Bobby holding the handbag with his shirt off. It could also be a blurry image, etc. Having a programming team with a video game background will make it nearly impossible to game the system. Same for descriptions. More details to come."
When a user warned that the new policy could cause hard feelings and resentment within the Bonanza community, Dorsey thanked the user and wrote, "I think it would be best to allow the features to be built and deployed first before assuming they are going to be negative. Lets revisit this once they are."
Most sellers strive to have good photos, but what is a marketplace to do about improving seller photos? Would you pick eBay's hardline approach, Bonanza's peer review approach, or some other approach? Or should marketplaces stay out of the picture (pun intended) altogether?