10 changes Mark wishes eBay would make
I’m not unique among sellers in possessing an arms-length wishlist of perennial gripes I’d like eBay to fix; from improvements to search and erstwhile popular tools to free images for all. Some of us even fantasise that one sundrenched day, a Seller Release will cheerily announce lower fees (sadly I remain a fantasist and by way of a caveat for this guest post, a generalist).
The bright minds at eBay do listen to sellers but they can’t please everyone, so we adopt and adapt. Here are my favourite bugbears that I’d like to opine (purely personal vents of course, of which I’ve no idea whether any shall see the light of day) …
1. The Death of Featured First
I’m dismayed that the useful, if pricey, Featured First enhancement is to be retired. How will sellers launching new listings with brilliant offers quickly compete with existing Good-’til-Cancelled listings that have chalked up a sales history of several thousand sales (and in some cases, may no longer be the most attractive propositions). I know I may struggle, suggestions welcome.
2. Lower Fees
Whilst insertion fees are the lowest they’ve been (as long as you don’t do anything silly, like adding lots of nice images and subtitles!*) it’s sad that the fees to sell have hit the ceiling, and, rumour has it, that it dissuades some sellers to list more expensive items. A more balanced fee structure would encourage a greater number of high-ticket low-margin items on eBay.
* And yes, you should be silly, probably more often than not.
3. Bring Back Personalized Bulk Emails
I’m not sure if eBay always trusts me/ us, or not, but I lament those time-saving bulk emails when in need: notifications of emergencies; unforseen carrier issues; inclement weather affecting deliveries; a bulk message to those buyers of custom-made dog gifts who’ve yet to supply me a name for engraving.
4. That Pesky Sales Figure
As sellers know, ending a listing effectively re-sets the lovely “X sold” figure in the listing back to zero (not the sales or popularity score, initially, mind). These figures matter, eBay. A pause button would be good, because to end isn’t, err, always the ending.
5. Free Images
At the risk of whining, I’m irked that eBay didn’t offer it’s legion of loyal sellers free images in this Seller Release. Need I point out the blindingly obvious: it’d be a welcome alleviation to an oppressive fee percentage. Such would surely dovetail nicely with rising mobile purchases and lower returns when venturing into the promised land of cross-border trade.
6. Credit Card Payments
When a buyer selects to pay with credit card, a small but notable number of buyers think they’ve paid. Sadly the messaging appears to be remiss: it would be ideal for sellers to insert a page that gives the buyers all the information they need to actually complete the payment. Obviously this isn’t the only area of the checkout process that could be improved, but definitely one issue to address.
7. eBay Top Rated Seller Qualification
I’ve love to see eBay offer differentiated qualification across categories. High-volume jiffy bag sellers in one corner: multi-boxed, white-goods, low-volume sellers in the other. Admittedly, segmentation will be a tough one to tackle but I reckon eBay could crack it.
8. Enhancement to My Messages
Hands up who’s bothered about seeing more advanced message functionality: improved and broader search; alerts, better threading and grouping; reminders; an undo facility? No show of hands; well I still care, ok!
9. Better Analytics
eBay’s own Listing Analytics tool shows promise, but has a long way to go before it becomes the really useful drill-down tool we want it to be. Your thoughts?
Put simply – why do they still exist?
Of course, I could ramble on: resurrecting eBay University (admittedly, not a grave concern, as is my potential quarrel about Special Domestic shipping rate tables – which I shall save for later); better integration between eBay and PayPal in Open Cases, better DSR communication to buyers and so forth. These quirks notwithstanding, I still love eBay. Do you?