eBay reduce buyer transparancy (Update)

Bidder HistoryeBay appear to have removed the ability to search a buyer’s bidding history. If you attempt to search bidding history you are now redirected to the user’s eBay profile page.

Bidding History was always a feature of Advanced Search, and indeed if you go to eBay Advanced Search the option to search bidding history is still present, at least on eBay UK, it was removed from eBay.com in October 2013.

Why the link to search bidder history is still present on eBay UK we’re not sure, but we suspect having removed it from eBay.com, eBay have now blocked the feature and forgotten they left the link live on other international sites.

There are two schools of though on bidder history – one is that it’s a useful tool to be able to see what a buyer has purchased. For instance many sellers feel that viewing a buyer’s history and seeing if they’re purchased similar items to one they’ve just bid on from them gives a feeling of security (or rings an alarm bell) enabling them to decide whether to cancel the bid or allow the sale to proceed and ship the item.

Others, mainly buyers, feel that what they purchase on eBay is their own private business and that others have no right to be snooping around their personal buying habits.

It’s worth noting that eBay also started hiding feedback titles and item links in buyer feedback last year.

The inability to search a buyer’s previous bidding history won’t affect most professional sellers. They have neither the time nor inclination to go digging into a buyer’s history and most times by they time they would the horse has bolted and they’ve already got an unpaid item on their hands. The people this is likely to upset the most are smaller sellers and other buyers who feel that openness and the ability to see buying history is what part of being part of a community is all about.