EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1730 - February 19, 2008     1 of 3

eBay Testing New View Item Page

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eBay appears to be testing a new View Item page that breaks the page into modules and places sections under tabs. Sellers on eBay's Seller Central discussion board began discussing a Completed Item listing that displayed in the new format. It's not clear how the original poster obtained the link, but eBay has been exposing a certain percentage of users to various new formats and features as part of tests it has been running on the site for over a year.

Attention focused on a call-out in red letters on the page in the Meet the Seller section that stated, "This seller has low ratings for Shipping Time." Mousing over the Seller's DSR ratings show he has a 4.0 out of a possible 5 stars in the DSR criterion known as "Shipping time." eBay introduced DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) in 2007 as a way for buyers to leave anonymous feedback for sellers in four areas. Many users indicated they thought it was not right for eBay to draw attention to the "low" DSR rating and wondered how eBay would ultimately define low ratings.

The page also changes the section of the Completed Item page called "Similar items from all eBay sellers," which normally contains hyperlinked text linking to similar active listings on eBay, moving them instead to the top of the page and adding pictures. Directly above is a similar box called "View more items from the same seller." It also moves the Shipping & Handling section, turning it into a tab that has to be clicked.

eBay rolled out an enormous number of changes in 2007 and has said more changes are coming as it tries to improve the buying experience. If this listing is part of a test, eBay is sure to measure the effectiveness of the design and placement of page elements, but it may be a strong indication that it is considering breaking sections into individually loading modules.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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