PESA late in calling for eBay change

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PESA have posted a position statement on the health of the eBay marketplace. Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes describes it as “almost brutally critical” of eBay, but it’s key recommendations have been undermined at eBay Live! this week. PESA make three recommendations, each of which eBay has announced already:

eBay should reward positive contributors in their marketplace. Sellers that have shown outstanding contribution to the marketplace should be rewarded with better placement in search. If the better sellers are shown higher in search, then buyers would have a greater chance of a positive buyer experience. As more buyers have positive experiences, they will return and be more active. As under-performing sellers find themselves in lower placement, they will have a strong economic incentive to pursue best practices.

eBay have announced at eBay Live! that PowerSellers will gain better placement in search results, as will sellers with high Detailed Seller Ratings from their buyers!

Give buyers what they want. Shoppers are interested in convenience and safety. The finding mechanism needs to be improved. If shoppers are interested in patronizing merchants based on a merchant’s high feedback, or return policy, or speed in shipping, for example, then eBay should allow shoppers to run searches for products from just those specific merchants.

eBay have announced at eBay Live! that finding will change to return more relevant search results and that sellers who provide high buyer satisfaction will be advantaged in search.

Manage by category. eBay needs to address the unique needs of each category when implementing fees, setting best practices, and optimizing search. A fashion seller has very different economics than a CD seller or an electronics seller, but eBay requires them to use the same fee structure.

eBay are already testing different fees for different categories, for instance on media sellers (CD, DVD, books etc) have a different listing fee schedule to other categories. Similarly technology categories have category-specific selling fees. Additionally eBay have announced different finding methods for specific categories such as Product Based Seach Results and visual buying strategies introduced for Shoes, Clothing art and Jewelry.

Overall the suggestions made by PESA are realistic and doable, eBay have simply stolen their thunder by introducing almost all the measures they’ve asked for within hours of the statement being published!

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