eBay is creating a "for dummies" like experience in the hopes that new and occasional sellers will find it appealing. A recent email revealed just how much control it's taking over the listing process for sellers who choose to use its new listing form.
When a seller uses the new listing tool to list in the Fixed Price format, eBay automatically adds Best Offer and makes it "Good Til Cancelled," meaning it will run indefinitely.
When sellers use the tool to list in the auction format, eBay automatically defaults it to a 7-day duration - and determines the best time of day for the listing to go live.
eBay also tries to influence pricing with a "Pricing Meter" that compares the item the seller is listing with others that have sold within the past 3 months.
Here's what the email said:
Our New Listing Tool Is Here to Make Selling Even Easier.
Take control of your listings with new features to help you become an even more successful seller.
Here's What's New
Price for success by comparing your item to similar items sold within past 90 days. Then, see the likeliness of a sale on our new pricing meter.
To attract more buyers, we've added this option to all fixed price listings. You can set a threshold to auto decline low offers, or remove it altogether.
To help you make the sale, we now default auction-style listings to 7 days and fixed price listings to Good Til Cancelled with no extra fees.
Smart Schedule Listings:
We automatically select the best time of day for your auction listing to go live. This increases your chance of selling for the maximum price.
We Value Your Feedback
Improvements like these come from sellers like you. Tell us what you think in the Comments section, under the Help tab.
eBay is sending the email to accounts that have been dormant - a reader who forwarded the email said eBay had sent it to an account he hadn't used in years, but it did not send the email to his active account. His first reaction: incredulous. "Having eBay scheduling your auction start times would be a disaster," he said.
What do you think of eBay taking control of the listing process to help what it refers to these days as "consumer sellers"?