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Mon Mar 16 2015 17:01:47

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Descriptions

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have a problem, and frankly, am writing/posting to anyone/everyone that may be able to help me.

I am a consignment seller on eBay. I have been doing this for over 5 years and been selling on eBay for over 7 years. I am a top rated seller with 99.9% feedback.

Recently, eBay decided to do a test market where instead of showing the full description on items there is a tab that you need to click on that says "See Item Full Description".  

As sellers, I do not recall being told that eBay was testing this with my listings, nor do I remember being offered an "opt out". 

If this was the only problem with this test, I wouldn't be writing. Many new buyers don't see or understand that they have to click on to open something, in fact, my longtime consignor didn't even understand it. But the problem is, once you click to see the full description, you cannot maximize the window.

Since I am an eBay store subscriber, you see 2" on my store header with my name. Then about an inch of the actual description which you have to page down to see more. My potential buyers can't even see one complete photo that I have taken to show my items.

Last week, I called and complained. I was told that it was only a 2 week test, and was comped 2 months of my eBay store fees for the inconvenience. I have complained to eBay via phone and way too many times in the button next to the "See full description" button where it says "Tell Us What You Think". 

Today I called, because I have $1000 less in sales from last week and my biggest consignor has expressed his concerns over not seeing a full description. I was told basically that they cannot do anything and nicely reminded in my eBay User Agreement that they can do anything that they want. 

I get rules, but when my buyers cannot see what I am trying to sell and my consignors are upset, I need to do something - but don't know where to even start. 

Any suggestions?
Deb 

Note from the Editor: See EcommerceBytes latest article about eBay's hidden description tests.




Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Mar 16 22:18:33 2015

And now you know why the eBay Marketplace is continuing on its journey down the toilet ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: Maui5150 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 07:37:12 2015

You should be happy.  I was irate and complained about it and was told it would be "passed along to the developers" because I wanted to be removed from the test.  I git squat and still see this crap a month later

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:18:55 2015

the change with the descriptions was made to better facilitate mobile commerce with people buying more using their mobile devices, not sure why it helps but that might make some sense. If you lost 1K in sales in 1 month you have other issues going on.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: TRSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 08:36:29 2015

Where to Start: start figuring out how to make your listings "smart phone friendly" = we've been revising all ours to remove the store header stuff - it does absolutely nothing to promote or sell the item, so we get rid of it. and have been seeing fewer and fewer problems along with vastly improved sales.. so I would suggest finding a webmaster tool (google) and use the mobile-friendly web page viewer, revise listings to fit better, you'll be happier.  

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: toyspast This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 10:41:00 2015

I was also part of the test and also hated it. What I started doing was clicking on ''tell me what you think'' and telling them I hate it on as many of my listings as I had time to type. After about 2 days, they stopped the test on my listings. I hope they find its an epic fail and move on to the next stupid idea.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 10:41:33 2015

Just a bit of clarification regarding this stupid test of theirs: It's not the sellers who are being involuntarily opted-in; it's the buyers. Your listing will appear entirely normal to one set of buyers, but to another (supposedly randomly-selected) set of buyers, they'll be shown that click-to-view-description button instead.

There is nothing that you as a seller can do to affect whether your listing will be viewed in the normal manner or as part of the test. That is a setting on the buyer's account, not the seller's account.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: Ajmartin This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Mar 17 10:49:22 2015

As a buyer, I have had a hell of a time with this feature.  I attend one jewelry auction regularly and not only do I not get the description or photos, but clicking the More details button yeilds nothing.
Certainly the merchant is losing out as I wont bid without nowing the details.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: SellSellSell

Tue Mar 17 11:10:55 2015

I have more returns on mobile purchases it seems. I buy from my laptop with a firewall, never with a mobile device.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 11:31:23 2015

It is just amazing to me that eBay thinks NOTHING of ruining people's livelihoods. They have NO consideration at all of sellers and really, as this shows, not of buyers either. Have buyers asked that they be able to hide descriptions? Yes, some are outrageously verbose, but who should have the discretion to hide them? The venue which profits on sales & postage, or the seller who pays the venue to make a living?

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Tue Mar 17 11:59:36 2015

Hiding the description is intended to open up space to show photos and links for similar items from competitors so they can opt to click on one of them before basically 'wasting their time' viewing your detailed description.

And by the way, what's with these Sponsored Links for items that are not even allowed to be sold on eBay?  

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Mar 17 13:36:48 2015

The reality is, eBay has become desperate and is going to do whatever they stupidly think might improve their bottom line; about their consumers, they care nothing; only about themselves do they care; it’s all about, in the short term, how much money the criminals in the eBay executive suite can stuff into their pockets before the whole unscrupulous enterprise finally implodes …

“eBay, Sotheby's launch new online auctions platform”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/17/auctions-internet-idUSL1
N0WD2QC20150317


Too funny! What better way for Sotheby’s to devalue its “brand” than to partner it with eBay. The only question is, which of these two has become the more desperate?

Regardless, “Invaluable.com” has the streaming of live auctions already well and truly tied up; and, can you just imagine the type of buyer that buys on Johnny Ho’s eBay “flea market” buying something of any value at Sotheby’s and paying eBay an additional fee for the privilege?—Ho, Ho, Ho …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Mar 17 13:44:23 2015

I have sent no less than 20 irate e-mails under the "tell us what you think" link over this noxious feature. My vision is subpar and as Deb stated you cannot maximize the window. A complaint call to eBay yielded a cheerful employee who gushed how "everyone" uses mobile devices to purchase on eBay and this feature makes it more "convenient" for them. I detest the double clicking, but it is working - for the first time in a decade plus of eBaying I have been closing out of eBay and searching on Amazon, Bonanza and Etsy.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: doboy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 13:50:24 2015

I don't understand why you are complaining about this.

Obviously you just don't understand.  EBAY CAN DO WHATEVER IT WANTS.  IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, TOUGH!

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Mar 17 14:05:41 2015

eBay's ill conceived test is harming sellers, sellers are complaining but eBay simply does not care.

eBay's agenda is likely driven by reductions in operating costs.  By not serving descriptions on every listing, eBay likely is able to reduce the number of servers dedicated to serving up search results.

Does eBay care that buyers will miss important information? NO because eBay's head-in-the-sand management honestly does not care if buyers read descriptions.  

Equally, management does not care if buyers are unhappy with the item they receive despite the fact that buyer dissatisfaction would most likely have been prevented had the listing description been served to the buyer.

When buyers are unhappy, eBay will will simply tell them it is the sellers fault, and return it to that seller for a full refund.

Since eBay generates more revenue on their books when items are returned, there is even less motivation for eBay to be concerned with buyer dissatisfaction.

What management ignores at their own peril is the fact that buyers are not pleased when they have to return something to their seller. As the need to return items becomes more commonplace, buyer dissatisfaction with eBay will increase significantly despite the company's best efforts to blame sellers for the problem eBay themselves created.

This reality will be bad for sellers and will grease the slide of eBay's management driven implosion.



eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 15:32:50 2015

ebay is gone beyond repair too much constant dealer interference, I moved to a newer site speeditrade so far sales are slower but no hassles, no pressure and great service from admin

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

This user has validated their user name. by: Ihatethebay

Tue Mar 17 18:57:53 2015

A LONG time ago I just stopped reading all the stupid-ass emails from the bozos in San Jose.

I don't want them to add anything to the website, I want them to revert to the good old days when Evilbay ran the website and us sellers ran our listings.

Do anything you want, John; I've already started to list on other sites as well as de-list things from Feebay and list them on said other sites.

You killed the Golden Goose, you deal with the consequences of your actions.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 17 20:18:42 2015

My items do not cater to a mobile buyer (Is a IT professional going to buy a $500 telecom box from their cell phone?) so I could prefer that the listings contain the correct and visible information for those on a desktop/laptop can purchase what they want

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 18 00:04:14 2015

Philip == interesting point.  Sotheby's just appointed a new CEO this week so we'll see what happens with this ebay initiative.  Only, the new CEO came from the sports industry.  Maybe he'll be auctioning tix to Mark Cuban's games.

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 18 15:22:47 2015

I haven't seen this as a buyer or a seller but a customer I SPOKE to on the phone this week told me that using his cell he could barely see the pics I had carefully taken and placed on my listing and therefore also did not read the description and then decided that the item "Must"  be damaged.  Um--not exactly.

And after not paying and then being contacted by phone and telling me he was NOT going to pay he called me back and was EAGER to pay--but yet--still no payment.  This is a young buyer with a total of 7 FB.

I did an experiment on the laptop; two cell phones and a tablet-=--and they ALL showed vastly different views.  And unless you have a "Fab-Let"--you are NOT going to see a real pic and get a clear idea of an items condition etc.  

I suspect that this is what that "free subtitle"  condition report is supposed to DO---yu are meant to alert the poor illiterate buyer in 3 words or less what the condition is. I got news for FleeceBay--if they aren't going to READ the item description--they aren't going to READ that part EITHER.  

eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des   eBay Consignment Seller Questioned over Hidden Des

by: TexasTwister This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 19 00:36:54 2015

Since most of the items I list are in the Collectibles category, they are usually listed as ''used'', therefore I get the ''condition description'' box displayed. Lately I have been including verbiage similar to ''if you can't see the full item description, you must click on  ''see full item description'' in order to get all details'' along with a disclaimer informing buyers that it is up to them to understand what they are bidding on. Of course, that's about as worthless as ''teats on a boar'' (like they say down here in Texas)!

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