eBay 20th birthday announcements: what’s in store? #ebay20

Next week in San Jose, California, eBay is holding what’s dubbed a “Seller Summit” in celebration of 20 years of business.

As eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig says of the event: “We will be unveiling exciting new products that further enrich and simplify the buying and selling experience, and tools that will empower sellers. And because we know eBay buyers love to shop, we’ll be offering something special just for them too.”

At Tamebay, our expectation is that there will be some big announcements of real relevance to eBay sellers. We just don’t know what yet. But we’re happy to speculate.

We aren’t going to the Seller Summit in California where the announcements will take place. And we’re not aware of any similar event in the UK where any announcements will be made. We’re just piecing together snippets we hear from sellers and others. Be reassured that when we know more, you’ll be the first to know.

Here are our tips as to what we hope might be included:

Serious reform of the Defects system

We’ve heard several hints that the Defects system will get an overhaul and that’s all good news. Too many sellers are penalised for fair and decent behaviour under the current rigid regime.

One Tamebay correspondent says that they have been in contact with eBay Customer Support in the past few days and they have hinted at changes too. According to one customer support rep: “we have listened to customers like yourself and will be announcing changes then.” The timing refers to the seller summit.

Any such changes are overdue. It’s right to keep a keen eye on seller standards but some of the defect terms are silly and punish sellers for good practice. Intelligent reform to Defects will delight eBay merchants. Let’s see what they come up with. We have high hopes. And, honestly, things can only get better.

Reform of the Feedback and DSRs

We suspect that we’ll see a move along the lines of progressing to objective feedback with subjective feedback being sidelined. No bad thing, as we’ve written before. The devil will be in the detail. So we will wait and see.

Noises about variety and choice.

One thing we’ve noticed from eBay in the past few months has been an unusual increase in reference to choice and eclecticism. It seems that eBay may be revisiting the idea that they can find a competitive advantage when they are host to the oddball and bizarre. Again this is good news. eBay can beat the opposition here and a broad choice of second hand items is a competitive edge. And even if you’re selling new and in season stuff, anything that brings people to the eBay marketplace is good news.

This will likely mean some perks for private sellers, we think. No bad thing.

When will we know?

The eBay gathering happens next week on the 10th and 11th. Keep ’em peeled. We will be publishing all and everything we find out as soon as we can.

And, as ever, don’t be shy about tipping us off if you hear owt in the meantime.