Why eBay are making changes

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eBay have today announced a raft of changes, which will affect every buyer and seller on the site. From fees to feedback to search, in a few months time the way we trade on eBay will feel very different from today.

eBay have for ten years been the premier shopping destination for millions of buyers. At the same time millions of sellers have built successful businesses on eBay, some of which have diversified to other venues and their own websites.

The ecommerce landscape has both broardened and matured in those ten years and buyers are more demanding and more sophisticated then ever before. To remain the market leader eBay needs to change to accomodate those buyers needs and in doing so it is the best way they can serve the sellers who make their living using the site.

Buyers want three things: great deals, from a great selection, with great service. The changes eBay are making today aim to deliver those three criteria to the customers that trade with you.

“As online shopping has become more commonplace, so buyers expectations have increased. eBay’s sellers have always been the first stop when looking for great deals and the biggest range of items on the web and increasingly shoppers want the reassurance and confidence that they get when they’re shopping in the offline world. These changes really help reward and incentivise that.”
– Mark Lewis, Managing Director, eBay UK

The changes will ensure over time that the best prices from the best sellers float to the top of search results. For the best sellers on eBay very little will change, apart from the fact that their products will appear at the top of search results more often resulting in more sales. Many thousands of sellers on eBay give superb service, often way better than from commercial websites, and those sellers will benefit from the increased visibility for their products.

eBay aim to incentivise this behaviour with a raft of fee benefits, lower insertion fees should encourage a greater selection of products. Search changes will ensure the best deals from the best sellers are presented to the buyers. Finally sellers will be rewarded for giving great service with discounts on final value fees. This achieves two things eBay have never done before – incentivising great service and offering discounts for volume sellers.

“One of the recurring themes we’ve heard from big sellers is they want fees to better reflect the volumes they sell at. Successful sellers know that quality of service is just as important as quantity to growing their business, so we’re delighted to be able to link the two and offer some great rewards.”
– Mark Lewis, Managing Director, eBay UK

Importantly discounts and feedback will be based on shorter periods giving better, more relevant, more recent, information to buyers and enabling sellers to improve in just thirty days to qualify for discounts. All sellers will effectively be able to ignore their feedback history and concentrate on offering great deals with superb service to their buyers and reap the rewards just one month later.

Finally todays announcment shows just how much eBay respect and value their sellers. For the first time eBay have revealed their roadmap for the year to site users enabling them to plan for the year ahead. Too often on eBay, complaints have been that changes occur too quickly and sellers have to constantly revise the way they work.

“Thousands of sellers make their living on the eBay site and we’re incredibly honoured and proud of that. These changes all have a simple message – it’s a great time to be a good seller – and we wanted to give everyone as much up-front notice as possible to make sure they’re in the best position possible to enjoy the benefits.”
– Mark Lewis, Managing Director, eBay UK

eBay have given advance notice of their plans, to enable all sellers to streamline their businesses, for what should be a fantastic years trading in 2008.

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