Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Apr 27 2018 10:26:25

eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay regularly surveys users, and this month, it provided a snippet of the results of one survey it conducted on a topic important to sellers: its messaging system that lets sellers and shoppers communicate.

eBay presented survey participants with a list of messaging features and asked them to rate the one that they felt was a "Must Have." 

eBay said the key objective of the survey was to "evaluate which feature additions to member-to-member communications would be most preferred by sellers."

Here are the results it shared:

- Add a photo to a message: 77%

- Username and feedback score of person: 67%

- See conversation with someone, all at once: 66%

While the survey asked sellers to rate various features, eBay only shared the top three features that were rated "Must Have This Feature." It's unfortunate eBay didn't provide the entire survey question and the complete results.

eBay conducts ongoing surveys that "influence eBay design and functionality" through a program called eBay Expression. (See more in today's Newsflash about additional results eBay shared on seller advertising practices and how many participants have a brick-and-mortar store.)

What features do you feel are "must-have" for the eBay messaging system?

Note: ironically, Down Detector is showing eBay's messaging system is down this morning.



Comments (29) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Apr 27 11:02:01 2018

I seriously doubt those were the top three "must have" features.  

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: Bidderboy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 11:26:40 2018

Having the ability to include ebay item numbers in the messages in order to up-sell without being harangued and accused of trying to take sales off site would be great. My workaround is to copy and paste the entire listing title into the message and ask the potential buyer to plug it into the search box.  

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 12:05:39 2018

I wish that ebay would just do away with messages. If people would read they wouldn't need to message anyone. We normally never reply to any messages. Buyer think that its find to ask for discounts etc.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 12:22:05 2018

How about forget all of that. make a site that works all of the time. FIRST!

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Apr 27 13:34:55 2018

I find it annoying when a seller has omitted a dimension and I get the message : "Seller cannot be contacted" or words to that effect.
Then they shouldn't sell.
They lose a sale.
I get unnecessarily consternated.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 13:45:19 2018

eBay allows you to attach an image, but then they mess with the quality.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Apr 27 14:29:27 2018

More busy work for a few of ebafia's extraneous employees and managers,

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 16:00:09 2018

@FeelingFroggy  ... Sorry to hear that your experience is that TONS of such messages to you are of no interest..... or offers to BUY for 20 percent of your Buy Now price.  Myself, I TREASURE questions from eBay Buyers.  Those are not annoyances, they are OPPORTUNITIES to complete the deal and get the BUYER to actually BUY.  With over 1,600 different listings on eBay I'm always attempting to get a buyer to buy what they WANT.... then upsell that same buyer to include MORE items under a single payment .  (( NOW the unstated rules from eBay's Mighty Morphin' A.I. Computer it is BEST to get buyers to use PLACE IN CART them request a combined invoice.)   Again, my OWN experience is that fewer than 1 in 20 messages from a buyer is TROUBLE.  The other 19 are chances for me to CORRECT them if they have misunderstood the listing OR stress to them that the price was RESEARCHED and not just a figment of my own imagination.  Last week it took about 3 back/forth Q / A to figure out that that BUYER had misinterpreted MY comment in the description that "No Stock Photos / ALL the pictures are MINE" meant what it SAID.  She somehow elected to OverLook the 12 PHOTOS of the actual DVD in its clamshell WITH graphics, the Statement as to LIKE NEW Grading of the DVD, and the Description that was ENTIRELY about this particular John Wayne movie on DVD.  SHE kept asking me if I were selling ONLY the DVD.  A little off topic, but THIS is part of why I expect eBay's new experiment in Seller Destruction to FORCE all of us to come up with descriptions that MATCH their own FOOL "best match". Right now it is a HORROR the way any eBay buyer who searches "Blu-Ray Avatar" is still given a Myriad of Right AND WRONG responses INCLUDING  DVD, HD-DVD, VHS, UV Download Code Sheets, and as if by an afterthought ... Blu-Ray versions of AVATAR.  It will ONLY get worse from here..  Questions for Buyers?  H*ll yes ! ! !   Bring 'em on.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri Apr 27 16:57:55 2018

Right.  

This is definitely NOT eBay posturing as though they value and consider customer feedback.  

This is the real deal -- an authentic outreach to truly embrace the "voice of the customer" and ensure that those elements are incorporated into future product development.

Well done eBay, Bravo!

I take back all the bad things I've ever said about your inept leadership.

Keep up the good work,

XOXO

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 27 17:37:38 2018

@bidderboy

Including an Ebay listing number or even a link to an Ebay listing is not a violation of the rules and it has nothing to do with trying take a sale off Ebay.  Logically speaking, how could it.  YOu are offering a link and/or listing number for something that is on Ebay, therefore the sale would happen inside of Ebay if the buyer decided to purchase.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 27 17:45:59 2018

I can see where these three items would be the top 3.  For myself they would be the most important to me.  I still want more flexibility, but they would be at the top of my list.  But like Ina said, I'd like to see the rest of what the survey results were.

@froggy

OMG I couldn't disagree with you more.  It is a useful tool for buyers to communicate to me and for me to communicate with them.  I would not want to see that end.  I want my buyers to be able to ask questions before they purchase and I always respond.  I too get emails asking for discount.  I just politely respond that my pricing is as stated.

You know there is a setting that you can check off that prevents buyers from contacting you except when there is an actual transaction between you and them.

@angry

Your posts would be so much easier to read if you used paragraphs.  Not disrespect intended towards you, just a helpful observation.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: Bidderboy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 19:59:38 2018

@Marie

Yes, everything you have said is correct and I know it to be true. Yet, when I attempt to include an item number in a message I get an admonishment from eBay which basically says that they suspect me of trying to take a sale off eBay and mention is made that too many attempts to do so will have consequences. As a long time seller who follows the rules this offends me.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Apr 27 20:38:30 2018

@bidderboy

Instead of sending an item number, send a link to the listing.

ebay's message system lets me send them but they aren't active links.

They have to be copied and pasted.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Apr 27 23:10:41 2018

I think it is important to see the feedback score of a prospective buyer. More specifically, the feedback and comments they leave for others.

This gives the opportunity to vet what type of buyer they are, or present themselves to be. My studies show that most of those who ask for a discount on an item (even if you explicitly state that you do not accept them), are potential problem buyers.

A few days ago, a long-time eBay user made a somewhat reasonable offer on an item that I have had listed for a while. Before I decided to at least come back with a counter-offer, I thought I would check his feedback and comments.

Voila! Six of the last eight feedbacks he left were negatives, and nasty ones as well. Of course, his eBay ID went straight to my block list. May have cost me a decent sale, but eliminated a potential headache.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 07:45:54 2018

@Fido
Beautiful.  Don't think they'll get the 'message' though.    

I wouldn't be holding hope for any competent implementation either.  Take their top response claim for example.  

Wait until they actually compute the amount of server storage increase it would take to send (and store....for six months minimum?) photo attachments.  Some of which are required to be used to be able to submit acceptable buyer claimed damage claims to carriers.  Or the "entire conversation" part too.  Those bytes add up.  

As for any other results?  Color them 'noise'.



Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 12:24:33 2018

My thoughts are that eBay should leave well enough alone. Although I do like the suggestion of showing the entire back and forth on a single page. That seems like common sense though which eBay clearly lacks.

They currently do not update the Seller Hub traffic stats on a reguar basis. Try doing THAT! Some of us actually do use the thing and eBay couldn't say enough about it a year ago. So eBay ''where's the beef''??

I realize that delaying those numbers has the advantage of obfuscating the real performance of eBay, (much like how they use an average of an average to report click through...a statistical no-no last time I checked) but it shouldn't be that difficult. Until that happens consistently, they should not waste time trying to ''improve'' another feature that works fine.

You don't know what you're doing eBay. Stop pretending and start learning so you can get things right.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Apr 28 13:30:28 2018

Their surveys always seem to be designed in a way so that they get the answers that they want.   As a result, there is really no point in conducting a survey because they really don't care what the customers want. They just want to be able to say "you spoke, we listened", in order to give some credibility to their survey.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Sat Apr 28 13:42:44 2018

After 18 years of selling on eBay.... We no longer have any patience left to deal with all useless questions that we receive.

Most of the questions that come through are from people that failed to simply read the description or look at the pictures closely in the listing.

Many potentially problematic buyers have a way of exposing themselves ahead of time by the way they word their questions & inquiries.

This allows us to block these bad buyers before we ever have to deal with them after a sale.

With only a few exceptions......we ignore questions all together & block most of the people that seem to just want to waste our time by asking stupid questions.

Like they say... " It's the cost of doing business on eBay ".

.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Sat Apr 28 19:31:38 2018

LOL snapped I'm not counting on it either.

Kidding aside, how many sellers would even rate the messaging system as a top-3 area to fix or enhance?  I can probably think of 2 dozen things that would take precedence over the messaging system, and as others have said ''fixing'' the broken stuff would come first.

As far as bothering with a survey to solicit feedback whether a photo attachments or conversation view are a ''must have'' item?  Ridiculous.

This is another example of a non-value add waste of time that some eBay exec (probably CPO Pittman) has on their bonus goals objective list so they can go through the motions of ''collecting customer feedback'' to ''check the box'' and Wenig can spin some more nonsense to Wall Street about ''eBay's customer led product innovation initiative''.

Threaded conversation views and photo attachments have beenn common, ubiquitous elements of messaging systems for many, many years.  

If your junk code doesn't meet a standard ''baseline'' benchmarking of virtually everything else out there, there's no need to waste time and resources to create, distribute, collect, then re-create a bunch of internal PowerPoint presentations and make a ''million-dollar project'' out of a needless survey.

eBay needs a ''3G Way'' enima.

Perminate Link for eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging   eBay Surveys Sellers on Member Messaging

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 20:34:42 2018

People get too excited over surveys. They don't really care what you think, they already know how you feel and how they will be doing things in the future. The purpose of a "survey" is to get people to mistakenly think that they value what you think about how they handle your concerns. A survey gives the impression that the customer's (or employee's) view is valued. Places that keep on doing surveys are almost always oppressive sweat shops. True leadrs and visionaries don't need surveys, they are connected with the customers and employees.

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