DVD Categories to be removed

No primary category set

It was just a couple of months ago media sellers faced disruption to sales with the loss of categories in CD’s. Now it’s all about to start over when the DVD categories are removed in September.

eBay rightly point out it will obviate the need to enter both a category and item specific. What they fail to point out is:

  • Item specifics are more time consuming to enter than selection a category from a drop down
  • Item specifics are normally lost in category changes so sellers will have to edit each and every live auction and stored SMP or TL template
  • Item specifics can’t be edited in bulk
  • In TL item specifics can’t be edited inline, each listing has to be opened separately and then a pop up is used

Sellers were reporting a drop in sales when the CD categories were removed in favour of item specifics. If you sell media we’d love to know if your sales have stabilised back to previous levels?

Edited to add “How to edit item specifics in bulk”
(Many thanks to Leigh for the following instructions)
In TL highlight the batch of stored templates that you want to bulk edit
(DON’T then click the edit button at the top )
Right click and select ‘edit item specifics’.
This will then bring up the separate item specifics screen.
If you then either check the ‘select all’ button or highlight a selection.
You can then use the ‘set selected’ dropdowns to bulk fill the listings you have already selected
Sadly it doesn’t work for listings already live on the site 🙁

15 Responses

  1. No, they evidently dont give a damn whether we sell a thing or whether anyone can find anything of ours or not.

    It’s looking like they hope people will get frustrated by not being able to browse, and simply click-through on the cunningly placed & cunningly profitable links for Play and HMV instead.

    As I said in sympathy with a CD seller on the boards before, I was an avid a browser of CD’s on ebay, often looking for Soul, rock or compilation cd’s ending soon, but post-change, the sheer massive crush of ALL of the CD items ending soon means that the first 15 pages of CDs are a random selection of EVERYTHING, and they all end within minutes.
    Inevitably, once you’ve finally found something on the first few of the thousands of pages that you’re interested in (amongst all the rubbish that you arent) it has just ended.

    Down to Virgin with you, casusal browser.

    Windorphins my bollocks. I will eat a sauteed portion of my own arse If ebay can prove that this decision was made by someone with ANY experience of media selling on ebay.

  2. They want to move as many categories to item specifics as it makes sense to do so. Item specifics are just easier for buyers to work with. They care a lot more about making it easier for buyers than they do for sellers

  3. Hi John, I have to disagree with you to some extent. Yes they want to make it easier for buyers. However they’ve a long way to go.

    Take the following search on eBay and compare with the same search on Amazon. Which is easier for you to choose the item you’re interested in?

    All the time they’re messing about with category changes and item specifics they’re not actually returning product searches making it easy for buyers to see the full selection available and then to choose a supplier. That’s what Amazon excels at and Amazon have set the bar that eBay need to aim for.

  4. We both agree that eBay has a long way to go.

    Amazon has years of advanced analytics of how their buyers shop and what they might be interested in. That’s part of why they’re doing so well now

    eBay is trying real hard to play catch up at this point, hence the playground test search on the US site. Judging from reaction of those who have tried it, it’s a LONG way off from being ready to go live.

  5. I have to disagree with John. As a buyer, I hate item specifics for the following reasons:

    1) the javascript-generated drop-downs load after the gallery pictures. That means you have to wait for the ENTIRE page to load. And if you’re in Women’s Clothing for example, that’s a lot of gallery pix. Stop wasting my time, eBay!

    2) many of the categories they pick just don’t. make. sense. “funeral” occasion in women’s clothing? knee length/calf length/cocktail in women’s evening dresses? Others were there in subcats, but have been missed out of ISs, eg. “Goth” (some of my buyers swore off eBay forever when they did that).

    3) I’m not necessarily searching. Quite often I’m browsing. ISs might make it easier to search, but they don’t make it easier to browse – even if you just pick some of the specifics, it still makes me have to be specific, rather than browsing away… and that *feels* wrong as a buyer.

  6. I think of it as if I walked into HMV without a clue what DVD I wanted to buy…

    I walk in, here’s the top 100 DVDs (arranged so that I can see one of each!!!), and here’s a load more arranged so that I can see what’s in stock 😀

    Now that I just can’t do on eBay, but the closer they can get to it the better. The big problem is if you already know the DVD you want you can find it, if you want to browse and see what catches your eye you can’t

  7. Sue you make good points.

    As to #2, eBay’s answer should be interesting. With them starting to let sellers make custom item specifics, hopefully it’ll be relevant ones that sellers and buyers will want to use, instead of eBay’s management guessing based off of whoever takes the time to send in an email to the suggestion box or however they choose them (coinflip maybe?).

    Chris, Amazon’s DVD options are pretty amazing. In the UK you can go to a DVD and choose to buy it from Amazon, an Amazon seller, or rent it with Amazon’s rental service. You can sort them by reviews, release date, bestselling etc.

    Essentially on Amazon I can go “I want to watch a good James Bond movie but I don’t know what one” and leave happy with a great title. On the US site you can even do online rentals where I can watch a trailer for it immediately, see what reviews of it are on IMDB, and even download it to play on my computer for a few bucks as a rental. It even works with Microsoft’s media extender so I can play it on my xbox 360 on my big screen though my streaming wireless network in my house.

    On eBay I can use a drop down to select which genre I want, oh boy!

  8. “On eBay I can use a drop down to select which genre I want, oh boy!”

    And therein lies the problem and the main reason I buy less on eBay than I might otherwise 🙁

  9. One more point that Mr Biddy has just made: “have you tried using those drop down thingies on a laptop with a touch pad?” Nightmare.

  10. Sue, I did see a thing on the Chatter Blog where they’re making keyword searches include item specifics.

    So in the future doing a search for 6 heels black will search all shoes with size 6 listed in item specific, black as the color, and heels as the type, so you don’t have to use the drop down menus. The people who like using them still can

  11. Several things to say on on the subject.

    I’ve been very vocal about the removal of categories in favour of items specifics for several reasons.

    1) It totally kills browsers who like to look around and find something they didn’t know existed or that’s catches their eye.

    2) The impulse buyers, one thing I can’t fathom out is why eBay seem hell bent on searches for everything. It is still possible to browse categories but not obvious how to do it, see https://www.magnumopus.co.uk/cdfinder.htm Why eBay couldn’t have done something like this is to educate buyers is a total mystery, but given eBay’s track record nothing surprises me. To me it flies in the face of what Meg said about finding all sorts of interesting and unuseul items on eBay.

    3) Look on any major site, Amazon, HMV, Play.com, etc. and on every page on the left hand side what do you see, categories. Does this not tell eBay something, obviously not.

    4) In the almost 4 weeks since we’ve lost categories in CDs I’ve been monitoring it with a fine tooth comb and there is one major difference i’ve noted. Compilation CD sales have taken a real hit, I haven’t worked out the percentage exactly but it’s very noticeable, however sales of named artists have risen but not by anywhere near enough to make up the difference. I can only put that down to one thing, people are no longer browsing and seeing titles that catch their eye and look interesting.

    eBay have a very long way to go to even come close to Amazon in terms of searchabiltiy and presenting the user with what they want and suggestions of what they might want. The way it selects things for you on past purchases is fantastic, the ease of browsing and being given really relivant choices and options put it streets ahead of ebay.

    Overall I really feel this is a backwards move for eBay that will come back and bite them hard in the future.



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