EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3182 - October 25, 2013     1 of 4

eBay Defends Controversial Changes to Feedback Pages

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eBay has been rolling out a series of controversial changes over the past week with no warning and no announcement to users. EcommerceBytes has been covering the developments as they've rolled out, and turned once again to eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore for answers. The changes increase bidder and buyer anonymity as part of an initiative that removes some transparency to the marketplace.

Last Wednesday (Oct. 16), eBay removed all purchase details from buyers' and sellers' feedback pages. On Monday (Oct. 21), eBay removed the ability for sellers to research bidders using eBay's Advanced Search, meaning users were no longer able to research bidders. On Wednesday (Oct. 23), eBay began masking buyers' identify on sellers' feedback pages but returned purchase details those pages - however, it is keeping item details off of the buyer feedback pages.

Moore explained why eBay partially reversed the changes and what's in store going forward.

Why is eBay masking buyer User IDs on selling transactions on feedback pages?

Ryan Moore: Buyers and sellers involved in a transaction continue to have access to the User IDs as they do with the Purchase/Bid History pages. We made the change to provide a more consistent treatment of buyer User IDs across the platform (i.e. Purchase History pages). Reducing visibility into buyer purchase history has been a frequent request from buyers over the years.

And why, if eBay used customer input to hide purchase details on the feedback page, did eBay return it for selling transactions on feedback pages - didn't you indicate users had requested that information to be hidden?

Ryan Moore: We reinstated the View Item link on the feedback as a seller tab so buyers can better evaluate feedback which was left for a seller and better understand what types of items a seller is receiving feedback for.

Why is eBay displaying in selling transactions on feedback pages when they accepted a Best Offer? And won't that drive prices down for that seller?

Ryan Moore: We are currently assessing whether we'll continue to present Best Offer accepted information on the View Item page.

Why didn't eBay give sellers notice before making these changes, and why did eBay roll out these changes during the holiday shopping season?

Ryan Moore: The changes we typically introduce outside of our seller release cycles are those that we believe benefit the marketplace and our customers.

Will eBay be making more changes to the feedback page, bidder research functionality or anything along the lines of what's been rolling out the past 2 weeks?

Ryan Moore: We continue to monitor and evaluate.

Want to weigh in on the changes? Take the EcommerceBytes survey on SurveyMonkey, we'll report the results in a future issue.

And leave a 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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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