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The Top 6 Things eBay UK needs in 2018

By Chris Dawson January 11, 2018 - 8:56 am

When I sat down to thing what I’d like to see from eBay UK this year, it was easy to consider things like more traffic and more sales for sellers. These are things that will only come if the marketplace gets the basics right and with that in mind there are some innovations I’d love to see from eBay in the first quarter of 2018.

Most of the items on my wish list aren’t in the least revolutionary or hard to do, mainly because eBay has already rolled them out in different parts of the world, just not on eBay UK. In 2017 eBay appears to have withdrawn to the States where the marketplace was founded and they’ve had all the visible investment – now it’s time to roll out the new features on eBay UK and across their European marketplaces for the benefit of sellers and buyers alike.

  1. Google Assistant
  2. In the US and Australia consumers can already talk to eBay on Google Assistant. We know that since October Google have sold well in excess of 6 million Home devices – they’ve claimed one sale per second so it’s easy to do the maths.

    Google Assistant doesn’t just reside on their Home devices however, anyone with an Android smartphone or tablet also has access. It just doesn’t make any sense that if you have an integration with Google Assistant that you don’t roll it out around the world as quickly as possible.

  3. Find it on eBay
  4. Find it on eBay makes starting a search as easy as sharing to Facebook. Any image you see anywhere on the web can be shared with eBay who will then trawl their 1.1 billion products to find similar items. The beauty of this is that your product search can start anywhere that you find inspiration be that Pinterest or Instagram, magazine or news sites or anywhere else on the web that you see something you’d like to buy.

    Find it on eBay is available in the US but not currently on eBay’s European sites.

  5. Image Search
  6. I love image search on eBay – it’s the ability to simply take a picture and drop it into the eBay search bar rather than trying to describe an item in words. Literally you can take a picture of anything anywhere and eBay will try to find matching products for you.

    This is great as some things are really hard to describe, for instance art, ornaments, the shape of a pair of sunglasses or a highly decorative handbag – image search means you can find similar items without having to put what you’re looking for into words.

    Sadly image search is also available in the US but not yet in Europe/

  7. Better data
  8. Just before Christmas eBay completed their purchase of Terapeak, the market intelligence tool which previously licensed eBay data and make it available to eBay sellers. Now that eBay own the tool there will almost certainly be a desire to fully integrate it into the Seller Dashboard as the premier source of product data available. In the mean time why not give everyone with an eBay shop a free Terapeak subscription until the service is integrated? After all it makes sense – better product information and business intelligence should result in more sales for merchants and more fees for eBay. It’s a win win situation!

  9. Better Messaging
  10. eBay’s messaging is still a bit in the dark ages and (no matter how much we’ve complained) images sent through messages are still compressed. To be fair to eBay they started to compress them less last year, but there’s still no logical reason for not transmitting them at full size. It’s just a fancy email system after all so why stop buyers and sellers from being able to sell quality pictures which are beneficial when trying to show product details and essential for personalisation when an image has to be printed.

  11. Personalisation
  12. While we’re on the subject of personalisation, this is a massive market easily worth over £1 billion in the UK alone and yet there isn’t a single category on eBay where buyers can enter personalisation text at the point of purchase.

    Whether it be an image to be printed, text to be engraved or (worst of all due to eBay’s contact information ban) contact details required to produce business cards or letterheaded paper, it would make so much sense for buyers to be able to upload the information when they press the buy it now button. That way the personalisation details could be captured and attached to the order saving time for both buyers and sellers and of course for larger more sophisticated sellers could potentially automate the entire personalisation process.

  • Leader of the Banned
    5 days ago

    Reading this article reveals just how much Tamebay is out of touch with what sellers actually need. You have not been listening guys! How can you ignore the very basic needs?

    A working multi currency shopping cart like the one on eBay.de
    A level playing field.
    A decent fair search engine.
    A ban of serial returns offenders.
    Fair fees.
    Immediate Payment Required made optional again.
    A system that allows sellers to take advantage of the so called FREE LISTINGS so we can sell on overseas sites without having to waste hours creating listings from scratch for every site.

    I could go on listing the countless problems with eBay…most sellers could do the same…… but what’s the point when Tamebay themselves are so out of touch.

    • Martin
      5 days ago

      Actually, there is a system already since last year when you can create a listing and will be rolled out on ebay sites you selected. Its called “ebaymag” and its made by ebay too. However, it can take some time to understand and for me it not worked very well as I am selling unique one time items. But for new goods it can work. You should give it a try.

    • Andy P
      5 days ago

      Martin
      If eBaymag is anything like the free European Sales Booster Webinterpret translation service that I’m on watch out for the postal options. They hide all but the first postage option to buyers outside the particular eBay sites home country. eg a listing with untracked and tracked postage options translated onto eBay.de, buyers in Germany see both options, but buyers in Belgium, France or anywhere else outside Germany only see the untracked option. Really helpful. Webinterpret’s response is two-fingers.

    • Martin
      5 days ago

      Yes, Andy. Looks like ebay mag is the same, only made for European sellers while the European Sales Booster Webinterpret is for UK sellers. Either way no of them is perfect.

  • 5 days ago

    They could start by fixing the basics, today I had a message from somebody about their order.

    The big blue button next to the product image clearly states | View Order Details | when I click on it I am taken to a blank screen.

    If I click on the image I am also taken to a blank screen.

    And a whole list more of things that need fixing…

    • Martin
      5 days ago

      Hy Tyler. I know why you are taken to a blank page.
      Remember when eBay forced us to switch all links from http to https? Then guess who didn’t do their homework. Our bellowed eBay 🙂
      When you click on that link in message it wants to open http page and since google chrome banned this pages you will see only blank page. Unless you will click on “pop up” icon options next to address bar on that blank page which states:
      “The page is trying to load the scripts from unauthenticated sources”
      and click on “load unsafe scripts”. Only then you will see the page content.

      When I first saw this I thought it is a joke. After what I went through to convert my listings to https they are good with this “solution”. Joke

    • 5 days ago

      @Martin…

      God that is soo stupid!!! But what else would we expect?

      Ok, so that work around fixed the blank screen problem but, the button does state | View Order Details | but takes me to the listing page.

      There are so many instances of eBay taking you to the wrong page, not giving you the right info to solve the problem, I usually end up looking up the info on my own web site which stores all the order details.

  • Mark
    5 days ago

    Hi

    those things are all well and good but the basics are absolute rubbish here is a fundamental issue that ebay use to damage reputation and claw back discounts.

    My late deliveries have climbed to over 3% taking away our hard worked for TOP RATED.
    When i checked through them they were absolutely rubbish every last one was wrong.
    I rang eBay and they explained.
    If we do not ship fully tacked their system cannot automatically check the information. So anything we send that is cheap and does not warrant a fully tracked service because a buyer would not use it counts as late delivery.
    I asked them to explain how an item purchaed on the 3rd at 4pm shipped on the 4th with the number and dispatch uploaded at 4pm on the 4th and the item delivered on the 6th using a 48 hour showing an estimated delivery of 6th-7th is a late delivery and their answer was the first scan was on the 6th when delivered meaning it was dispatched late.

    The system is punishing us for LATE DELIVERY, not dispatch. Others fell into the same fault and then were even more late (according to eBay) because the buyer was not in when delivery was attempted so the first scan is when the buyer goes to collect the item from their local delivery office nearly a week later.

    The only help eBay offered was send everything fully tracked. So a £1.99 item needs to be shipped on a £3 shipping service. (What absolute plonkers) but of course eBay would get 11% of that money.

    I cannot see how it is legal to take money from us using a system that is not fit for purpose. eBay say they are using a first scan to override a buyer saying it was delivered late, and cannot believe a seller that uploads tracking numbers and dispatched details is telling the truth.
    But when i then showed them a buyer who said it arrived late on a fully tracked service on the list they said they will remove the defect but why am i financially punished and the lying buyer gets no punishment.

    They said all i need to do each time is check the file and call in.
    I said that may be all well and good for huge companies on eBay that you pander to now like Argos, Tesco and others with huge staffing departments to deal with these issues but a 2 man business like ours. Are running around to make our end work and dispatch on time. We do not have time to spend 3 and a half hours reading the file and finding all the true information then 25 minutes on the phone arguing with a human robot spouting eBay eBay eBay, who finished with the sentence that is how are system is and if you want you can sell elsewhere.

    Nowhere in all their lovely advertising does it mention we will take money from you if you dispatch items on time using untracked postal service with a confirmation of delivery number all uploaded at the end of the day and when the item is delivered early or on time and the title of my punishment file says LATE DELIVERY nowhere in the late delivery does it mention first scans or using dispatch proof. So surely by law its either one or the other (sorry that is UK law not mickey mouse eBay law)

    • 5 days ago

      @Mark – My late delivery rate is at 0.66%

      I think your problem is giving eBay the tracking details, I stopped doing that for the same reason and only give tracking details to buyers when they are having a problem.

      99% of buyers do not need to know tracking details if the item arrives ok.

    • BFT
      5 days ago

      Ditto Mark.
      I still have my TRS status because I spend a lot of my valuable time appealing all these incorrect late delivery cases.
      This single issue has caused me to review which marketplaces I stick with, which I ditch and which ones I am going to move to. Guess which category eBay has put itself in?

  • Andy P
    5 days ago

    Well said Tyler, fix the basics

    Make links to items in messages work as Tyler said.

    After answering a message from an overseas buyer, why does the message system dump me onto the overseas eBay site.

    Make the links to items in Resolution Centre go to the order, not a partial facsimile lacking any useful info.

    We were pushed to use the new seller hub, but the sales record doesn’t show something as basic as eBay (often fantasy) expected delivery dates.

    Make a shopping cart that works and make it easy for people to request a total.

    Allow people to unravel locked sales when (usually foreign) buyers press pay by “Other” when they really mean to pay by Paypal . In the past sending an updated invoice would unfreeze this but not now, even the buyer can’t change it. The eBay CS people can’t fix it and tell you to send a Paypal request directly.

    And here’s a an idea that might help everyone’s blood pressure. Have a route available to report simple glitches like the ones I’ve listed to somebody who could at least feign interest rather than the usual CS reps who’s standard response is “I’ve never come across that problem before”.

    Fix the simple stuff before trying the wizzy trendy stuff. If eBay can’t make a simple link in a message work, what chance do we think they have with voice recognition?

  • Joe B
    5 days ago

    They’re all fairly decent suggestions but far from the top 6 things IMO. Every day we have to put up with things that are broken, like some have mentioned, links in messages don’t work.

    I keep revising quantities on listings then when I submit them, the quantities are what they were before revising.

    I keep getting warnings about HTTPs compliance that are incorrect.

    Sellers are getting suspended and/or charged FVFs because potential buyers send them their phone number.

    eBay’s priorities IMO should be to fix all the bugs. Engage with sellers and start treating them like customers. Reverse stupid decisions like punishing sellers for late delivery but calling it late dispatch and this ‘off-eBay sale’ nonsense.

    And stop with all the constant tinkering, especially when it forces sellers to keep having to revise their listings.

    Stop putting up prices and treating us like idiots by saying the vouchers add value.

    For the first time ever and as a result of the above, eBay is no longer my number 1 priority when listing and planning for expansion. I had a seriously good peak on Amazon and that’s where I’ll be putting my efforts for the foreseeable future.

    • Dave
      5 days ago

      Joe B,

      A couple of work arounds for you:

      ‘Links in messages don’t work.’ <–Remove the 's' out of https:// in the address bar

      'I keep revising quantities on listings then when I submit them, the quantities are what they were before revising. ' <– Wait 15-20 seconds after changing the quantity before pressing the save/revise button

      'I keep getting warnings about HTTPs compliance that are incorrect. ' <– Ironic that eBay can't make https work in messages as above…!

      I agree with everything else. eBay is a mess and needs a proper going over top to bottom. Just getting the same look on every page would be a good place start.

      And don't get me started on duplicate listings from our large corporate competitor friends:

      https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=hw-m460&_sop=16

  • SAM
    5 days ago

    What we would like to see is the majority of comments above, but most of all a level playing field this they do not have.
    After reading a article on this blog the other day, we noticed a snippet about a UK startup called Pricesearcher, we missed the original article. Anyway normally we tend to find these things a bit of an ache.
    OMG how simple, our Google feed was uploaded, and there BANG we are on the front page with all the the big companies and corporates. it is genuinely right now 100% unbiased, this is what the world needs.
    eBay is just another generic site for big brands biased and who pays plays.

    • Dave
      5 days ago

      Just done this Sam, took me less than 2 minutes to import my Shopify feed. Thanks!!! 🙂

  • 5 days ago

    Be really useful if the list of “useful” comments nay, free ideas for improvements were taken from these topics and presented to ebay…. Just a thought IMO as the majority who bother to comment on here actually offer solutions to the problems (unpaid for problem solving).

    The very best businesses listen and learn from their product users…. I would be impressed if TAMEBAY feedback showed us ebay visited here to “learn”.. they certainly DO NOT act on comments provided from various seller page links when problems are highlighted.. the CS staff with scripted responses are the next on the robot job automation list… simples.. better still give us access to the pages of scripted tripe we are cut/pasted and presented with…

    What is ebays excuse… as the same old nuggets/problems keep coming up here time and again?

    All I read about is improvements for 2018 based on buyer experience…. well, as fundemental as buyers are; they need to find the products, have queries answered and find sellers helpful and buyers need to find the item again for a repeat business in future…

    The real shocker is, improve it for the sellers and we will do the rest, sellers actually need buyers ‘quelle surprise’.. so allow us to service the buyers by making the platform stable and functional, good sellers will then do the rest..

    An address checking database for when buyers commit to a purchase would be another great improvement; cut down on the admin/errors/before we even see the sale come through

    and lets not hear the trash about how product ratings give buyers all the answers they want, they do not work most of the time.. or disappear or have the wrong product review attached to the wrong item….

    From a buyers perspective how crap is that?

    ebay interest in solving this issue for “buyers”.. not even on the radar.. 70mins with CS yesterday proved this as I have all these issues across several products.. just how is that professional and presenting well for buyers

    How about Tamebay running a list of the best 100 improvements ebay can make for sellers 2018…. and getting some dates agreed and action on them.. and then some feedback to us; the sellers….. that would be progress and daily email update worth sending.. Imagine the daily blog landing in the inbox with
    “ebay fix search glitches”
    “ebay repair links”
    “ebay show buyers your other items for sale for cross selling opportunities”

    Just a thought and it’d be nice if ebay were told to spare a thought for the sellers……………. without us, there isnt an ebay…..

    • james
      5 days ago

      have ebay ever given you the impression they give a hoot about what you think?
      i mean besides the clearly hollow copy/past platitudes from CS “we really value everything you say, but will completely ignore it and do the opposite regardless.”
      ebay know best what’s best for you, just shut up and pay your subs.
      yeah i’m sure devon wenig pops by here just for a giggle, he’s not taking notes, just laughing.

    • SAM
      5 days ago

      @mr s the amount of WRONG addresses on eBay is a complete farce (time and effort fixing them every single day) it is a genuine worry how so many people cannot even input an address correctly (lazy society)
      This is just in the UK, god knows how many we send of to overseas customers who cannot input addresses.

      It is basic stuff and actually brims how incompetent they are at the top of eBay they have never dealt with this ongoing issue, and shows how much they are out of touch.

    • 5 days ago

      @mr s & SAM

      An address checking database for when buyers commit to a purchase would be another great improvement; cut down on the admin/errors/before we even see the sale come through

      I agree with what you say and it is was on the top of my Christams wish list but Santa was so busy with getting all the little ones their presents I think it must of been overlooked.

      Seriously though I do wonder why they don’t, having said that it is amazing that Amazon do not do it as, unlike eBay, they are actually in the business of sending product out for themselves as well as FBA sellers.

      There is a cost involved, pre internet I used to run a mail order business and we were unlucky enough to have to data entry every address by manually, I soon invested in some software that cost £1,500 per year to ensure the data was correct.

      I did look at the cost of doing it for my own web site and the cost seemed quite low, as you only have to enter the data once per customer.

      We stop most dodgy looking addresses and reformat them or contact the buyer to confirm address details, but lets not forget, the customer will just get their money back if there is a problem with the address and they don’t get their goods so it is not important to them.

  • Vinnie
    5 days ago

    99% of the comments on here are all negative about eBay, and they are true.
    EBay sucks. It is rank. It treats sellers no better than something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe, in yet you all continue to allow yourselves to be abused by this greedy monster. The only way to hurt eBay and to get them to change their beligerent ways is to withdraw you business, and if enough people did it they would soon change their tune. Yes, there are other ways and platforms to sell your stuff. I have done it and so have many others, and I’m actually better off. I never sell on eBay, I rarely buy anything on there, (and I do buy mostly online), and if I do buy I never give feedback (good or bad) because it denys eBay the metrics to punish decent sellers. I don’t give a rats ass if it comes one or two days past eBays prescribed deadline, eBay don’t set the law and people should stop giving them credence to let them think they do.
    One of the other comments on here said they were told by eBay that if they didn’t like the system to sell elsewhere. That just shows how cocky they have become. So, if you don’t like the system, stop bitching about it and sell somewhere else. If we all did it, they would soon be begging us to come back on our terms.

  • northumbrian
    5 days ago

    ebay only needs one thing
    thats Buyers!

  • Stephen
    5 days ago

    1, Drop the DSR for “Late Delivery” – sellers cant be responsible for carriers failings or customers not being in at the time of delivery just as busy buyers can be expected to remember if the order turned up on Tuesday or Friday.

    2, Support sellers – when a case is opened for item not as described stop support saying “We have no proof that the item is as you described it” change it to “We have no proof that the buyers claim is valid” or “You have sold X of these without issue – must be one random nutcase”. Additionally assess the customer at the time of the case as well rather than “referring to for investigation” If a customer opens a lot of cases or negatives stamp it out at the front-line (simple pop-up on the ebay customer service agents screen “This customer returns X percent of orders, opens Y percent of cases and has left Z percent negative or neutral feedback”).

    3, Postage discounts – instead of selling us a 3 legged donkey (compared to OBA / Business account prices) offer businesses postage discounts that are actually discounts.

    4, Returns – stop charging a flat rate for “Seller pays postage” – Large letter items don’t cost £3 to post back…

    5, fix the glitches – little things like when your listing in search shows “40 sold” and you click the listing and its sold 3K+

    6, Time between escalation and ebay support refund – time and again we see customers that have been communicating stop (therefore as a seller we would assume that the issue is resolved). Next message is a escalation from the customer and a refund and defect from eBay. 9 times out of 10 in this case if the customer had of sent a message or eBay had given more than 30 seconds from escalation to decision we would have refunded and avoided the defect – how about a new step in the process “X customer has asked us to step in and review this case – would you like to take any additional action before we do?”

  • lotus nut
    5 days ago

    Chris is looking at improvements from a buyers perspective, most of us see it from a sellers requirement.
    As sellers there is sweet FA ebay will do to fix problems or make it easier or better for us. All they want is to make more $$ for doing and offering less.

  • 5 days ago

    @Sam – totally with you there, glad you pick this up too from how we experience it!
    Two feel its wrong so how to ebay judge the service the provide as right?

    If you buy on amazon and choose to send to another address, it gives an address data base to select from, then if amazon doesnt like the look of the address compared to one entered by the buyer, it asks if you wish to select the correct and continue (as amazon know the correct postcode/address for their delivery driver purposes is in their database)..

    Its obvious here, the correct address is important to amazon as it provides delivery services so its keen to get the info right – first time.. ebay on the other hand only sells a costly postal label to sellers how cant find better postal deals.. (another ebay revenue opportunity) .. but any address errors are down to the seller to spot, spend time sorting out and contact the buyer over and possibly delay shipment over… Overall a poor experience for seller and buyer.. and an utter waste of time for sellers.. never mind a potential delivery delay and the clueless CS calls to get it removed.. it all takes time and this is money, money that could be used for more sales…

    Ebay top table is all about keeping up appearences, managing the income levels and hitting profitability targets.. the new chap in 2017 will be gone in three years.. skipping to a new business or project before the poor numbers in ebay during his time catch up with…

    IF only ebay had a plan to become WORLD CLASS.. a leader in the market place… Oh my how we sellers would benefit..

    We are stuck with ebays aspirations its seems.. judge these by the chaotic service we receive as sellers (customers paying good fees) daily..

    Tamebay is for sellers, but we keep seeing the benefits for buyers announced.. be good if Tamebay took the challenge to ebay and marked the progress made on the issues seller raise on here.. there are all of a theme and common thread !!

    Solve just 75% of these and we wouldnt have time to come on here and offer solutions, we would be busy with ruddy buyers.. pretty simple…

    Note to ebay – 80’s management speak says K.I.S.S = Keep It Simple Stupid

    • SAM
      5 days ago

      @mr s the guy they put in place is a nodding dog a Yes man. Says one thing and does another. He has no real say, the UK is just a sideshow really for eBay.

      Plus he stole our idea we emailed him and used his corporate pals to badly implement it.

    • 5 days ago

      @mr s – I have just replied to your comment above, before seeing this one, my repoly include that I was NOT sure why Amazon did not have the facility, but that is in contradiction to what you are saying on this post.

      My question to you then is a very simple, why do so many Amazon customers have wrong address formats?

  • Jim
    5 days ago

    All of you go and sell on Amazon for a year and then come back and tell me eBay is that bad!

    • 5 days ago

      @Jim – I have been selling on Amazon for over a year and there are many problems with Amazon.

      Amazon sales are double what I sell on eBay and I get better prices, Amazon customers give me about 10% of the feedback I get on eBay.

      Yes it does cost more and customer support is just as bad, but saying that when you get the right person you can be amazed on how quick things get resolved.

      Amazon CS even gave me a free month subscription the other day because I complained about one of their stupid rules / polices. There not going to change it though…

  • 5 days ago

    @Lotus nuts, this is blog aimed at sellers… we registered to hear seller updates…
    @Jim, quite a few now on here reporting positive news of selling at Amazon, cant be worse than ebay… for sure…!

    Nothing can be that bad reading the helpful tips above on what to improve for sellers…

  • Leader of the Banned
    5 days ago

    The problem with Tamebay is they never use their position to speak up for sellers.
    They used to have balls when Sue (R.I.P.) was with us. They seem to have lost their spine now as well.

  • Jim
    5 days ago

    @mr s Amazons website works fine it’s Amazons customer service for sellers I am referring to. Work with that for a year and you will see eBay isn’t that bad.

  • 5 days ago

    @Sam, totally agree on the new figure head ebay have supplied us with in the UK.. his festive message said it all.. “I’m off for Xmas now, look at what we have done for you all; we have more for 2018 ~ now get on with it”.. that was seven days before the Xmas weekend… Corporate life, corporate speak…

    Anyone taking time to comment here could do a better job; any bright CEO would poach a few “ideas men” off here to make “him” look smart…

    It isnt rocket science… and those climbing the greasy pole dont realise it.. they just jump before being pushed or found out.. They never leave behind progress…

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