eBay add Seller Notes to Item Condition

By Chris Dawson November 15, 2012 - 12:39 pm

eBay have added a new “Seller Notes” section to the Item Condition attribute on eBay. You will need to edit all of your listings over time, and as a priority revise those listings where the Item Condition isn’t 100% perfect.

Seller Notes on view item page

This enable sellers to add additional information around the condition of the item you’re selling such as for example you can specify a new product and further specify it as “OEM White Box” or “Retail Packaged” further informing buyers of what they should expect to receive. This information is key as it appears right at the head of the page.

Seller Notes in description

The Seller Notes appear in various places dependent upon which version of the View Item page you’re seeing. If you’re seeing the newest version of eBay’s view item page then the Seller Notes box will also appear at the top of the Description section of the listing. This means you don’t have to duplicate the information in the description and if you currently do describe the condition there you should now move it to the new seller notes section.

Seller Notes in eBay Listing Flow

When you come to list your item you’ll find the “Seller Notes” is bizarrely renamed as “Condition Description”. I don’t know why eBay gave it an alternative attribute in the listing flow to that displayed on the listing. eBay specify that this field is purely for describing any defects, missing parts, scratches, or other wear and tear. It’s not to be used for any information other than that relating to the item’s condition or you’ll be in breach of eBay’s selling policies. This is not a box to spam customers with spurious offers or a replace for subtitles!

Impact for sellers

This is going to cause additional work for sellers, no question about it. It’s yet another box to fill in when you’re creating your listings and that’s going to be a pain no matter which listing tools you use.

However on the plus side if you’re listing the same product on a regular basis the huge advantage is that you’ll no longer have to edit the description each time you sell another with a slightly different blemish. Editing the Seller Notes will be sufficient.

I have no evidence (other than my own habits) but I believe more and more sellers are buying on eBay without ever reading your carefully crafted item descriptions. All of the information from large images with enormous zoom features, title, price, postage information, Item Specifics and now full Item Condition are all above the fold visible at the top of the page with no scrolling. Most of the time I feel no need to read seller’s descriptions so if there’s something I need to know about the condition of the item make sure you tell me in the new Seller Notes section.

You probably don’t like my blase dismissal of your description and as a seller I totally understand your frustration. The truth is though that buyer behaviour is changing and with 30% of buyers using mobile devices less and less buyers are actually reading descriptions. If you’re a canny seller you will start using the new Seller Notes box, and quite rightly you’ll also complain about a change like this going live to site right in the middle of Q4, the busiest time of the year, when you’ve the least amount of time to implement it.

Many thanks to both Lee and Mark who emailed Tamebay about this change

  • 5 years ago

    Hi, Thanks for letting us know Chris. I suddenly saw it, I was listing some items it was not there on one item, the next it was………… is at those times you think was that there all along and I have never seen it.

    Yes I agree it is extra work, but for some items it always you to explain what you mean about the condition.


  • Gary
    5 years ago

    You could always put “Please scroll down and read description” as a default copy and paste in the sellers notes box.

    • 5 years ago

      You could…. but that would be really unhelpful for the 30% of eBay buyers using mobile. Check out what it looks like on the eBay mobile app as it’s a really bad idea (although a nice try for desktop :-))

  • Gary
    5 years ago

    I don’t have to be helpful. They either want the item at the bargain price or they don’t. My DSR’s are exceedingly good for everything so why do I need this extra listing hassle?

    Where is the opt out?

    And does buying on mobile include tablets? Tablets give you a similar experience to a PC and they should not be lumped in with mobile phones to make the “mobile” stats look good.

    In fact I don’t believe the stats. 30% may view on ebays definition of mobile but I suspect a very high proportion of these views go on to actually buy on a PC or tablet through a tradition browser.

    If I use the tablet browser experience in preference to ebays app for browsing then there will be plenty like me.

  • rick
    5 years ago

    great idea, as a buyer I cant be bothered to read a war and peace length description with conditions to combat every thing that might or has happened to the seller in the last 10 year

    • Gary
      5 years ago

      So as a seller you don’t include any war and peace stuff in your listings?

      Are you happy for this to take the place of a listing description?

      And what about ebay search.

      Nothing has been said about whether anything placed in “seller notes” will be searchable?

    • rick
      5 years ago

      yes as a seller we dont include anything at all in the description other than the description , buyers dont care if ebays fees are high or the royal mail have increased postage , or if you need to pick the kids up or walk the dog on a tuesdays and fridays, or someone in little sodbury gave you grief

    • Gary
      5 years ago

      I agree with you on the points you have made. When you said war and peace I took this to mean your own business policies and clarification over shipping combinations, discounts, international sales, method of contact and such like.

      This can often read like a war and peace novel in listings.

  • paddy
    5 years ago

    Regarding the 30% of purchases made on Mobile. Is there any way of telling how a buying actually bought the product?

    • Gary
      5 years ago

      eBay don’t say that 30% of purchases are made through Mobile. They state that 30% of usage is through mobile which includes tablets. This could mean anything.

      I have spoken with several folk I know who have mobile phones and all have said they do not buy off the internet using a mobile phone. The main use is for social networking and searches. Purchases are made by wi-fi through tablets, laptops and desktops as these are considered more secure when it comes to money transactions than anything 3G.

      It could be that those buyers who actually buy through their mobile device then make their payment later through a laptop or desktop. This is bad news for those who offer immediate payment only.

  • Mark Ellis
    5 years ago

    Ebay have implemented this in their usual cack-handed fashion – the last 2 listings ( for a car!) ALL have the phrase “Example: ‘The right leg of the chair has a small scratch, and on the seat back there is a light blue ” ((SIGH))

  • Jake
    5 years ago

    This new item condition field is also being exposed with the API, so third-party developers can access it directly and embed the info in their applications or websites.

    While not all 3P apps will use it, as a seller it means that you might want to consider using this field, instead of just mentioning the condition within the main description area.

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