|Thu Aug 7 2014 21:34:53|
eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?
By: Ina Steiner
A lot of people have noted that eBay took away the ability for sellers to check bidder history. "Another attempt to nix what little transparency remains," wrote one EcommerceBytes reader. But others have defended eBay's move. "One could make a valid argument it's no one else business what a buyer has bought," said a poster on the eBay boards.
In the same thread, a user posted, "Buyers don't like being stalked by creepy sellers..."
When users asked eBay about the disappearance of the feature during a "Weekly Chat with the eBay Community Team" session last month, an eBay moderator wrote, "The eBay technical team is aware of this issue and is working to resolve. I don't have an eta yet."
During yesterday's weekly chat session, the head of eBay Community Jeff Terrell wrote, "We have removed the feature that allows members to search for other member's bidding history."
An interesting discussion ensued. A seller wrote, "Again, is there a reason why eBay feels no announcement is necessary for such a change?"
Terrell responded, "eBay typically announces changes that would have a material effect on a user's business (ex. fee changes, policies, etc.). Changes to design features or elements regarding the specific functionality of the site that don't have a material effect on a user's business may or may not be announced, depending on a number of factors."
When the seller asked for a list of those factors and said the change had had an effect on his business as a seller, Terrell responded, "This change does not have an effect on your business. As for the factors, you'll need to follow up with our Public Relations team to get that information."
Sellers say they use the bid history to check for bad-buying behavior, such as a coin dealer on the same thread referenced above, who gave an example of why he uses bidder history when he gets a request to cancel a transaction.
Did eBay remove the bidder history on purpose or by accident? Was it to protect buyers' privacy? Should eBay make bidder history visible to buyers' trading partners?
Let us know if this is a big deal or not, and how eBay could work to protect buyers' privacy while at the same time giving sellers' information to protect themselves from bad buyers.