There's a lot of confusion about how to ask an eBay seller a question thanks to two changes eBay has rolled out:
1) eBay renamed "Ask Seller a Question" link on the listing page to "Contact Seller" - and moved its location.
2) It introduced "Questions & Answers" into the listing page. Note that this feature allows buyers to ask questions about a generic product that any seller could be selling, not a specific item an individual seller is selling. (It has appeared on Product pages before eBay decided to add the feature to Listing pages as well.)
Just one example of the frustration: a clothing shopper asked in this thread
, "Did eBay purposely omit the “ask seller a question” from the bottom of the clothing ads? Too many sellers don't give any info about the size of their item, and now we can't inquire? Thanks for your answer. Appreciated. Frustrating!!"
Luckily another user responded right away with the answer: "Ask a seller questions is now to the right hand side of the page under seller information."
Not helping matters - eBay has yet to update its help pages, where it still provides
the following advice about contacting a seller: "To contact a seller, use the Ask a question link in the listing" and points to its former location at the bottom of the page.
While eBay had announced
that it would add the Questions & Answers feature to listings pages this month as part of the Fall Seller Release, it appears eBay never informed buyers and sellers that it was renaming and moving the link where buyers could contact sellers with questions.
On Message #38 in the October 17th eBay Weekly Chat
, a user outlined the problems users were encountering as a result of the overlapping changes. Among the issues he described:
"For items that are in the catalog it appears buyers are using the new catalog Q&A area thinking it is going directly to a specific seller about their item since it is in the same place that they are used to the old ask question being located. Seller gets the question but has no idea who the buyer is so cannot reach out to the buyer & answer. This cannot be a good experience for the buyer and is making the sellers look bad."
Sellers are motivated to figure out problems and changes, but as that user in the weekly chat noted, "many buyers have said they moved on to another site because if they can't ask the seller a question they aren't going to purchase."
EcommerceBytes readers have also brought this problem to our attention. "Every item I've looked at today no longer has the link to ask a seller a question, including many items from sellers I've bought from before," one reader wrote. "Seems strange that many different sellers would be missing the link. Guess I’m done buying on eBay now too."
He did eventually find it and sent us a second email, "Just realized there is still a link but instead of asking the seller a question it seems it's now just "Contact Seller.""
This is just one of numerous changes eBay is making that is unsettling not only to sellers, but to buyers as well.
Ironically, eBay used to have the Ask a Seller a Question link at the top of the page where the "Contact Seller" link now appears - it began running a test to change the location to the bottom back in 2010
, which is when it likely went ahead with the relocation of the link to the bottom of the listing page.
As for the reader who initially couldn't find the link to contact sellers, he followed up with us - it turns out that now that he knows where the link is, he likes its location:
"It's actually much easier to find now that they put it in the Seller Information box near the top between "Save this Seller" and "Visit Store," "See other items." Actually makes a lot more sense once you're used to it being there."