What should eBay’s 2016 New Year’s Resolution be?
Obviously businesses don’t make resolutions with the arrival of a New year.And even if they did they wouldn’t necessarily tell us what they are. But if they did, what should ebay resolve to do better in 2016? Here are a few ideas. What would would you suggest?
Platform stability: Over the course of 2015 (and indeed 2014), at Tamebay we reported on more than a few serious site problems that had significant impacts on eBay sellers’ ability to trade. We’re not talking about little glitches and wobbles here and there but big, serious, long and inconvenient site outages.
Obviously, all websites have problems from time to time. Facebook, Twitter, PayPal Amazon and indeed Google have all had downtime in recent months but eBay does seem to have a specific problem with site stability.
eBay always makes the right noises after such problems but then another outage occurs with little compensation for sellers who make their livelihood on the marketplace.
The scale and complexity of eBay makes the task tricky but #1 on eBay’s 2016 list has surely got to be a commitment to avoiding any big outages this year.
Improved seller offering: It seems to me that the tools that eBay offers to sellers are pretty old. Turbo Lister is a case in point: it’s invaluable but ancient. The seller apps too aren’t that fabulous. It speaks volumes that most sellers use non-eBay told when their enterprise expands past the basics. We’d love to see investment and innovation in the offering eBay provides for sellers.
Be eBay (not Amazon): Stuck record time. eBay represents a unique and vital service and it also has a vibrant and exciting past. eBay does best when it seeks to be the venue for a myriad of businesses selling fun and varied items in it’s own way. It isn’t Amazon. Rediscover the eBay USP and prosper.
If the talk is to be believed, now unshackled from PayPal it enjoys the freedom to concentrate on the core business of selling stuff. We’ll find out whether that’s true before the year is out.
Resolve to improve the buyer experience by making the ebay shopping basket compulsory for all purchases including auctions. ebay can provide sellers with every buyer promotion app on the planet (shipping discounts, multi buy discounts, cross promotions and more) but if buyers do not use the basket then all this sales and promotional effort on the part of ebay and its sellers is meaningless as links to promotions are lost. Every buyer on Amazon is encouraged to buy more when using their basket. If ebay want to be more like “Amazon” then a compulsory shopping basket is a must do!
I wouldn’t say it’s ‘unshackled’ from PayPal. The two are still as inseparable and they still cross-communicate as thay always did. Granted this is necessary to give a streamlined service. I’ve not had a ‘forced refund’ imposed on me yet, but I would be unsurprised if eBay can still raid my PayPal account as required if that eventuality ever came up.
Clean up the catalogue.
eBay have made great strides in the last few months with removing duplicates but has a lot more work to do. Also they still have a massive issue with VAT evading non-UK companies. This issue is also simple for them to resolve.
1. Stable platform
2. Address checking on set-up. How can we still have addresses with street name and number missing. How can Housename, FortWilliam be acceptable in 2016?
3. Holiday settings that work. A clear warning (that works) during the sale process that item cannot be shipped for x days would be far better than in practice having to hide every listing.
4. Use the seller community as a resource rather than banning them from eBay community for mentioning moderation or posting (obviously altered) addresses to highlight problems. Why are you so thin skinned?
That will do for a start.
Simple. To remove the wax from their ears!
Simplify, simplify ,simplify, its all too involved get rid of item specfics , revamp the categories to reflect the actual product, not some copy and paste from an index ,that was made 20 years ago
Don’t implement these new rules for TRS without thinking about the sellers this will effect, also don’t implement it if not all the main carriers in the UK are available, we use Interlink/DPD (one of the best in the UK) but it’s not intergrated and is meaningless to ebay currently when taking things in to account.
Clean things up and the sellers that are breaking rules sort them out, plus perhaps get your customer service team to talk to your head office team from time to time.
Make international selling easier, when I list an item in a different country I have to update my UK listing to block that country, what a waste of time that is.
Make it so that sellers of “new” items only need enter product identifiers, their price, shipping charges (but see below), and nothing else. Stock images are automatically used. All other fields are automatically populated included title and category. How simple is that!
And for “used” items where a product identifier can be inserted the only additional entries permitted should be “condition” and non stock images.
Make all economy UK shipping “free” for all sellers by default and impose eBay’s own standardised shipping charge for all premium shipping services. No longer a need for sellers to enter shipping charges or the courier and these are then standardised across ebay keeping it simple for buyers and ebay system algorithms. The seller can choose whichever courier they like and can build appropriate costs into their price if the imposed ebay shipping charge does not work for the item or preferred shipping agent.
This might upset the 99p listing guys but tough!
When we use the “International Visibility” option for the USA there is no sign of a shopping basket / cart. US buyers therefore buy and pay for each item separately if it is a UK listing with USA Visibility.
Ebay need to get the Shopping Basket / Cart to work correctly.
I sell on both Amazon and Ebay. Amazon orders are generally several items at once as the shopping basket works correctly, Ebay is mostly single items.
Only four requests:
1. Only allow buyers a certain number/percentage of INR/INAD per year; AND
2. Adopt Amazon’s clever program that detects attempts to open an new account from the same IP address/phone number/computer/address/postcode/name/bank account, etc (I think Amazon call it ‘Sentinel’)
3. Kick off all Chinese VAT evaders
4. Kick off all those ‘private’ sellers with more than 3 of the same item for sale.
Paul, I totally agree with what you say, however the problem we sellers have, as I have said before on Tamebay is that eBay doesn’t give a shit what you, I, Tamebay, buyers, sellers or anyone else that you can mention thinks or does.
They really do not give a shit. Their attitude is “we don’t give a shit,what you think” but we will give you the impression that we value your opinion.