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Deconstructing The Largest eBay Announcement Ever. Part One

April 18th, 2009 by Skip McGrath

eBay latest announcement will have a large impact on eBay sellers. Here is my take on the new features and policies.

eBay latest announcements  cover a lot of ground –too much for one blog post, so I am going to break them down into three posts. today is part one of three.

I am going to try and comment on the changes the best I can realizing that the info available from eBay is still limited. We will have to wait until June to see the final versions.  eBay has buyers rate us sellers on a 5-star system, so turn about is fair play. I am going to give my star rating for each of these features. At the end of the third post I will give you the calculated total.

Let’s look at the first group of changes. The eBay description is on the left and my comments are on the right. The hyperlinks will take you to the eBay page that explains the policy and gives examples. I strongly suggest that you go there and read the full policy after you read my comments.

 New item page 

 New product pages

Multi-variation Fixed Price listings

Buyer incentives and loyalty programs 

I really like the new item page. Larger photos and more important information about the product should help sales and the auction countdown timer will help bring some excitement back. (5-Stars)

The product pages are new pages that come up in search. Mostly this only works for books, movies and music. This one has some controversial features like a great value great seller box that will favor some sellers over others. This is OK for established sellers with good reputations but makes it harder for new sellers to build a reputation (3-Stars)

I love this one. Now you can list your different colors, sizes and models in one FP listing even if they have different prices. This will save me a ton of money on listing fees. I would give this one 6 stars if I could. (5-stars)

I am not sure how well these work. They include coupons, a new eBay bucks loyalty program and the Daily Deal. The Daily Deal is great for sellers who are accepted into the program. But I have spoken to sellers and it is really hard to get in. Mostly it is for really big sellers –platinum and above. eBay is spending a ton of money on these incentives but the jury is still out on how well they work.  In general these programs will help sellers, but I have to mark it down because they don’t help all sellers. (3-Stars)

Overall these changes are a big positive for sellers. About the only disappointment is that eBay has permanently abandoned the level playing field concept. They have been favoring the mega sellers for some time now which is interesting because these guys are the least loyal of all the sellers and are all selling on other platforms. I don’t really have a problem with eBay giving fee discounts to large volume sellers. After all, you can get discounts for almost anything you buy in volume anywhere.

But I don’t like the idea that large sellers get prominent placement and special promotions that the rest of us don’t get. If eBay is really into driving buyer satisfaction then give anyone who provides a stellar buyer experience the breaks regardless of their size or volume of listings.

Skip McGrath

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