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eBay call for catalogue help with Product Experts Program

By Chris Dawson July 23, 2018 - 10:01 am

eBay.com are calling on category expert sellers to assist them in a new Product Experts Program to build out the product catalogue which will power the new eBay Product Based Shopping Experience.

The Product Based Shoping Experience is scheduled to be rolling out across eBay from September. The new shopping experience already live in a small number of categories but if the roll out goes ahead in September it will impact significant numbers of sellers on the marketplace.

eBay are asking three questions of sellers who re potentially interested in being a part of the Product Experts Program:

  • Are you a frequent buyer & seller in one of the listed categories?
  • Do people consult your opinion before buying those products?
  • Are you passionate about a community powered selling platform?

The main aim is for experts to assist in improving the product catalogue (adding images, enriching description, correcting titles, and/or updating item specifics) in your vertical/category of expertise for your use and the community’s use.

“The Product Experts Program (PEP) invites you to pour your far-reaching product knowledge into ebay’s catalog & in return have the opportunity to help shape the future of the category’s structured data experience.

We invite you to apply to PEP & share a bit about your expertise.”
– eBay

As one has come to expect, sellers who commented on the post on the eBay forums immediately asked why they should help build out a catalogue which will also benefit their competitors and if they’d get paid for assisting. Addressing the question of monetary compensation the answer is a flat no – eBay doubtless recognise that any amount would be derisory for serious sellers and if you don’t want to assist that’s not a problem.

The benefits will come in other forms and will doubtless include early access to the catalogue, the ability to influence the catalogue entries for the products you sell, and where there are two competing opinions on the future of the category, as a member of the eBay Products Experts Program your input will be heavily weighted against non-members.

eBay Product Experts Program categories of interest

The categories that eBay are immediately interested in for eBay.com are:

  • Cardio Equipment
  • Cell Phones & Smartphones
  • Computers/Tablets, Networking Tablets & eBook Readers
  • Humidifiers
  • Internet & Media Streamers
  • Major Appliances
  • Portable Fans
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • Small Kitchen Appliances
  • Space Heaters
  • TVs
  • Voice-Enabled Smart Assistants

How to apply for the Product Experts Program

Applying to become a member of the eBay Product Experts Program is simple, you simply fill out a 7 question form on Survey Monkey detailing your areas of expertise and confirming that you’re willing to assist.

  • northumbrian
    5 months ago

    SO ,
    IF YOU PAY PEANUTS YOU GET MONKEYS is correct
    what might you get if you pay nothing?
    typical ebay ethos of we you a favour, by letting you do us a favour,

  • 5 months ago

    I wouldnt help Ebay in any way with this dread Product Catalogue

  • 5 months ago

    Could help, but won’t

    A ‘product based shopping experience’ via a catalogue format is the biggest stinker of an idea they’ve had for ages

    This could be up there with the time Rakuten decided to rebrand Play.com

  • james
    5 months ago

    hahahahaha.
    where you gonna find an expert on ebay?
    you may have 40 years experience in your industry, letters after your name, peer-reviewed papers published and acclaimed, and know more than anyone in the world about your chosen subject.
    when it comes down to it, your opinion is worth less than Joe-cant-spell-the-name-of-the-product-correctly, in any decision ebay make, and they’re not in the least bit ashamed of that fact.
    ebay don’t have experts, ebay has mugs, i’m one of them.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ James…..you are not a mug James. I have actually agreed with one or two of your posts.

      Off an a tangent a bit but …… your opinion does matter to ebay…….there is a system in place where ebay customer service staff can feed back your opinions to the folk making the decisions. ebay have had certain “initiatives” rolled back in the past due to seller feedback. It does not fall on deaf ears but it does need to make sense and be constructive.

      now they have a programme open to expert sellers. cant see that as a bad thing.

      “where you gonna find an expert on ebay?” well for your business would that not be YOU with ebay simply offering the occasional advice and support? maybe you can help the program? after all plenty of people on Tamebay willing and eager to give advice on everything ebay.

    • northumbrian
      5 months ago

      yeah
      just like the placebo report buyer link

  • 5 months ago

    Mr Patterson – just changing subject – do you know at what percentage of returns you need- to receive the new 4% extra charge ? Many Thanks

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ plasticman – yes. but it is not a fixed percentage. the percentage changes every month. It is based on a “comparison” of that you are sitting at compared to the other sellers in your particular category. Its a differential with the percentage governed by the performance of the category. Thats why they call it “peer to peer” metric as you are being measured against your peers in your category.

      Every category on ebay will be different and it will change every month.

      Its quite clever when you think about it as ebay cannot be accused of being too “harsh” as the percentage is being governed by the performance of everyone in your category. if you go “very high” compared to the other sellers in your category the additional 4% will be applied.

      ebay have been sending “warning” emails out for sellers that are in danger of not qualifying. If you have not had one of these emails yet (one was sent last month and a second today) it should mean that your account is within tolerances and not “high” or “very high” (you only get the extra fees applied if very high).

      The first evaluation is actually on 20th September and not October as the seller release implied/stated – the extra fee (if applicable) will be due to be paid in October (added to your seller fees). So we are in the qualification period now.

      this is not a popular change so they have been tweaking it – I assume this is why they have put the visibility of the metric on your seller dashboard back to August 20th.

      Also you are only “penalised” when the buyer clicks certain reasons for return – such as item not as described. Returns like “changed mind” will not be counted. Interestingly the percentage is based on a ratio of your “bad returns” against total number of sales – rather than total number of open returns. This makes the qualification fairer than other platforms who are running a beta on similar metric but calculating against open returns and not doing peer to peer.

      I dont like this metric myself but this IS the best way of measuring it if doing it (but I really wish ebay hasn’t).

      I believe this is correct at time of writing. Hopefully this helps. Its difficult to thoroughly explain on a post.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      thanks for your message. its not a fixed percentage – I posted an explanation about half an hour ago but it doesnt seem to have gone “live”. I will post it again. I apologise if it duplicates.

    • Katie
      5 months ago

      @ Paterson . Where do you get this knowledge / information . Are you sure you don’t work for Ebay ? I’m joking. Nobody seems to have a grasp of this yet . How do you know ? Are you really Devin Wenig? 🙂

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ Katie

      Your first question – I think you know the answer to that Katie……..

      Second question – no.

      Third question – I am really clever.

      As for your last question – no, I am not David Wenig ……… but I do have a lovely picture of him sitting on my desk……… one day I hope to get it signed 🙂

      Observation: What you doing up so late? This metric keeping you awake too ?

    • John Smith
      5 months ago

      Cool, I didn’t know that eBay employees actually post here.
      That’s neat!

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ John Smith. They don’t – they are not allowed to.

      I find your comment wonderfully ironic when you call yourself “John Smith”. I apologies if that IS your real name.

      I am one of the few people to post on here with my real name (I have nothing to hide) yet I am persistently and consistently accused of being someone else. Its hilarious.

      Be seeing you “John Smith”.

    • Ross K
      5 months ago

      At John Smith. Paterson does not work for Ebay . I can assure you

  • Fred Frogley
    5 months ago

    “there is a system in place where ebay customer service staff can feed back your opinions to the folk making the decisions. ebay have had certain “initiatives” rolled back in the past due to seller feedback. It does not fall on deaf ears…”

    Seems to be an extra word in the last sentence. It should obviously read, “It does fall on deaf ears…”

    You don’t need to look any further for evidence than the postage tables. It took ages to get eBay to introduce regional UK tables, and way longer to get an international table, which after about 2 years of working on it, eBay had to withdraw a few months after release because it was a total disaster. I had 1200 listings, many of which had the same shipping rates, but eBay managed to produce 2,400 postage tables. The whole process of creating them was one of abject stupidity. Just about every bit of e-commerce software has shipping tables. Some are better than others but most do a reasonable job. So all eBay had to do was consult sellers, ask them what software had the best shipping tables, and then copy it. But eBay, being eBay, decided to re-invent the wheel. The problem was that they had no idea what they were doing and were too dumb to contact postal services and couriers and ask them how their pricing worked. So they produced a single table that could accommodate only one kind of rate. If they had contacted courier services they would have found that they don’t usually work like that. Some are by box rate, some are by weight/dimensional weight. In the EU most parcels sent under contract within the EU mainland will be a box rate. Anything outside EU mainland is by weight/dimensional weight. So its impossible to enter EU mainland and outside EU mainland rates on the table. You have to choose one or the other. The ones you don’t enter are left as “contact seller for shipping rates” which causes lots of people to switch to Amazon or any other site that tells them the shipping cost. As if this isn’t bad enough, eBay grouped countries by continent, which is totally different to how couriers work, who work by zones that are not defined by continental location. Most other e-commerce software allows you to group countries into zones that match courier pricing. As eBay couldn’t be bothered to ask couriers how they did their pricing, instead of having to enter prices for a small number of zones, you have to enter the price for every single country individually. Its no wonder Amazon is growing fast and eBay is hardly moving.

    Over the years I’ve spoken to many support staff about what a disaster the shipping tables are. Most of them have no idea that they don’t work. They say, “oh, you must be doing something wrong. Let me show you how to do it.” After half an hour they have to admit there’s no way you can do it, and say, “you’re right, its a disaster. I’ll pass this on to the relevant department.” The years pass by. Loads of orders are lost due to the inability to display shipping costs for a large part of the world. eBay does nothing (other than overloading you with work making changes to your listings – which makes it more expensive to list on eBay than on Amazon). More years go by. Nothing changes. And all because eBay decided to re-invent the wheel, without having any idea what a wheel was.

    • NorthCrystal
      5 months ago

      Other glitch with postage on eBay, which cost me money, is “this seller post to Spain for £xx” and once we got someone ordering from non-mainland Spain (can’t remember exact island name now) and the postage was something like 3x the original price.
      Similar with UK. We offer free delivery within UK mainland but get orders from NI. I’m not disliking these orders but ebay should fix it and not again leaving sellers alone to deal with it.

  • 5 months ago

    Mr Patterson – thanks for posting re Returns Metric – as always very informative.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      no problem happy to help. I am sorry the explanation is a bit “lengthy” but its quite complex how ebay are calculating it – not very straightforward.

    • Katie A
      5 months ago

      @ Alan Paterson. You seemed to have a grasp of this. Can you help? Is there anyway we can speak on the phone and what do you charge? I am struggling with certain parts of my business . How do I get my number to you I don’t want to post it on here.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      I am happy to speak to you on the phone. Do not worry- I have your telephone number here. I will send you an SMS and we can arrange a time to chat.

      If its about the peer to peer metrics though I have written all I know on here – and that may change again as ebay are “twerking it”.

  • Jonah
    5 months ago

    Another postage glitch on eBay- we sell antiques by auction format with stated two working days dispatch . However if the parcels are not posted Monday we get dings on our account (mainly to North America). The platform continues to count Sunday as a working day and eBay.com WILL NOT remove these as they claim they can’t- as it would affect other areas of the international metrics calculations. We would go to 3 day dispatch but have had complaints before claiming it’s taking too long in handling. You just can’t win!!

  • Jarrod
    5 months ago

    eBay is becoming less relevant because they quit caring about sellers several years ago. They’ve never grasped without sellers you don’t have buyers. They don’t have the young market or women because they’re shopping on Poshmark. Why? Because eBay sellers are headed there in droves and of course taking their merchandise with them.
    Also why would anyone opt to help with these ridiculous product pages? Do all their work creating the catalog AND sign on to be an expert catalog checker for free! Come the f*#k on. You guys are no longer the only game in town.
    Return to your roots and embrace the online yard sale. You will NEVER be Amazon, nor does anyone want you to be. Product pages don’t work for lots, vintage, used clothing, used shoes, retro toys and much more. It’s not gonna happen. Even your big rival Amazon doesn’t fool with used or vintage. With the exception of books and a handful of other items.

    Also your advertising executive needs to be fired. The ads are lame and don’t speak to any buyer period. For goodness sake just come up with a catchy jingle like wayfair if nothing else. eBay feels like a sinking ship, please get rid of this CEO before he completely ruins this company.