EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2847 - July 13, 2012     1 of 4

eBay Surveys Users about How They Perceive the Marketplace

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eBay is surveying users about how they perceive the marketplace, asking them how satisfied they are with selling on the site, and asking them what they feel the eBay brand is all about.

The solicitation to take the survey is found at the top of the eBay discussion boards, and it links to a page on, which is conducting the survey for eBay.

In its introduction, eBay writes that it continually strives to make the site more useful and easy to use. "Over the next week, eBay is reaching out to our users for opinions on shopping, selling, and what you think of the eBay Community Boards. We invite you to participate even if you’ve never been to the community discussion boards - we want to hear from every eBay member willing to share their thoughts with us!" eBay said it would post general results from the survey on the discussion boards in early August.

eBay asked users if they buy, sell, buy and sell, or neither, and asked sellers how much they sold (in both units and in dollar amount). eBay also asked sellers to describe themselves as sellers: "When you think about how you sell, and who you sell to, which of the following best describes how you would classify yourself as an eBay seller?" Sellers could choose from the following options:

  • A consumer seller who occasionally sells to other consumers
  • A consumer seller who regularly sells to other consumers
  • A small business seller who regularly sells to consumers
  • A merchant/large merchant seller who regularly sells to consumers
  • Other (please specify)

eBay then listed a number of characteristics of selling on eBay, and asked how important each was and how satisfied with each they were:

  • The Feedback system on eBay
  • The time and effort it takes to list items
  • The ability to sell as many items in as many categories as I want without any restrictions
  • The ease of determining how much to charge for shipping
  • The ease of shipping items to buyers
  • How quickly I get access to my money after buyers pay
  • The value for the fees I pay to sell on eBay
  • The price my items sell for
  • The percentage of items I list that eventually sell
  • The timeliness of receiving payments from buyers
  • The ease of contacting eBay customer support

For sellers who indicated they were not satisfied with the value for the fees they pay to sell on eBay, the survey asked respondents to explain why they felt that way and asked them to be as specific as possible.

eBay appeared to be taking stock of how it was viewed by users. In addition to asking "What do you feel the eBay brand is all about," it asked respondents to indicate how they felt about various types of items listed for sale on eBay, and whether there were more or fewer of them.

The question is measuring how users feel about the type of marketplace eBay has become, asking respondents if they feel there are more auctions, more new items, more individual sellers, etc. - or if there are fewer of them.

eBay also asked respondents how often they visited community pages and why (to: help others; get help; talk with friends; make new friends; talk about buying; to vent; or, to talk about selling.

Sellers reacted to the survey on the discussion boards. Leave your own comments on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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