When you can't pick up an item in your hand when shopping, photos and detailed descriptions are the next best thing. But buyers and sellers are reporting that once again eBay is hiding product descriptions on listing pages.
eBay admitted that the first round of hidden-descriptions that hit the site in early February was a test - as counter-intuitive as that sounds. As we reported
on February 11, 2015, users said they were unable to see item descriptions unless they clicked on a separate button.
Shoppers found it annoying while sellers found it worrisome, fearing buyers would hit the buy button without reading the description at all and could miss vital information.
We are now receiving email reports that the same thing is happening, and users are discussing it on the eBay boards, such as this thread
started June 30, 2015:
I haven't browsed on eBay for many months. A few minutes ago, I decided to search for "stanley plane" and browse through the 5,000 listings that resulted. I clicked on a listing only to discover that I was apparently opted back into the eBay hide-the-description program. Clicking on the button leads to a "full description" popup. I'm not doing that. Sorry. No more browsing on eBay for me. I'm done.
posted today also discussed the issue, and an older thread from the previous test was revived today
, with someone writing.
I called eBay customer service regarding this issue and it seems like my account was placed on a "beta test" which would last 3 weeks!!!!. I didn't sign up for this **bleep**! My sales have dropped 40% since yesterday when this took into effect. If you're grouped into this test, please call eBay CS and complain. If they get enough complaints they will drop the test alltogether.
I compared a screenshot sent by a reader in February with one sent today. In today's, there are two differences that I could see:
- eBay includes the field title "Item Description" along with the first line of the description, then the button that says "See full item description." In February/March testing, there was only a "See full item description" box underneath the Item Specifics area.
- The February screenshot includes a link to "Tell us what you think." I don't see that on the screenshot sent today.
The negative consequences of these tests are real. In March, a consignment seller said a client complained
because he could not see the full description of his item in the seller's listing due to the test. And another seller said he had received a SNAD claim
from a newbie customer who didn't read his product description due to the test, but was unable to get eBay to remove the claim mark against his record.
Despite the continued complaints about the test's impact on sellers, eBay confirmed
in March it was still running versions of the test, but complaints seemed to peter out by April.
When you've spent a lot of time honing your description, especially on one of a kind items, it's pretty discouraging to think eBay is hiding it from view.