eBay.com testing new view item page (still)

No primary category set

eBay.com have announced some changes to their proposed new “view item” page, and a further two months of testing. During that period, “a very small percentage of members will be randomly selected to see one of several new page variants” being tested.

Thanks to TameBay reader Seanie, we have a sneaky peek at one variant at least:

If you want to see how your own listings will appear, view one on eBay.com and click the link “switch to the new version of this page” at the top right. I’m pleased to say that my own slightly overcomplicated layouts don’t seem to be broken, but I’m extremely concerned that some essential elements are missing.

  • No About Me page link eBay may have given in to pressure from sellers to allow website links from Me pages, but if they’re not linked from listings any more, the links are practically useless.
  • No “listing frame” The current frame for eBay shop owners, with branding in the form of logo etc., and cross-promotion via list of category links down the left hand side, is gone. This is a great big blow to shop-owners, and for me, takes away one of the biggest points of having a shop in the first place.
  • No red door The “red door” highlight for the shop/store link is gone. Instead, a text link to the store front is given equal prominance with a “view seller’s other items”: this is much less useful for buyers *and* for sellers, and should be removed. (Weirdly, the red door does appear before the item title. I don’t see the point of this.)
  • Report item has moved to the top of the page I must admit, I’m ambivalent on this one. It will make reporting much easier, but it also slaps a great big “this might be dodgy” thought right under buyers’ noses. I don’t think I like it on such prime real estate.
  • Related items and services is empty I’m hoping I’ll be able to choose cross-promotions to go in this area, but I’m perhaps being a little optimistic. eBay are also testing a new “merchandising module with seller opt-out”, with various positionings on the page, which will show related items from the seller of the item you’re looking at, plus other sellers. Sellers will be able to opt out of this altogether if they wish, which will mean that their items don’t show on other seller’s pages either.
  • No button at the bottom The button to bid or buy from the bottom of the listing has been replaced with a not-very-visible text link. Buyers have to either click the button at the top without reading the whole listing, or scroll back up… did anyone usability-test this?

I think we can all see the way this one is going. The individual item page is no longer the seller’s sole domain: it’s slowly, and subtly, being de-branded back to a generic eBay page. Though sellers will still be able to do some branding within the description area, that no longer dominates the page. Instead, viewing an item is very much about eBay displaying the data that they want to present to buyers.

For sellers, I think this is a horrible step. The loss of the listing frame in particular is a massive blow to those who’ve built businesses upon selling multiple items to each buyer. And it’s a loss for buyers too: the variety of useful clicks-through to sellers’ shops have vanished, and that is only going to make shopping on eBay harder work. And that shouldn’t be what eBay want.

Asked if and when these changes will be coming to eBay UK, community manager James told the PS board that there is currently no date planned for changes in the UK: “I have been given assurances that any changes will be announced well in advance.” Let’s hope we can get through the spendy season without having to redo all our listings yet again.

What do you think? Love it or hate it? Leave us a comment.

29 Responses

  1. It also squashes your logo so it downgrades the quality, reductions on shipping when buying more than one of the same thing are hidden, you have to switch tabs and it’s all lined up slightly off.

    I get what they’re trying to do, and I’ve got nothing against the concept of having a eBay standard section at the top with the specifics, but you’ve got to include ALL the specifics. And taking away our header and side panel is pointless if not destructive. I know HTML and could rig one up again manually, but most people can’t or wouldn’t be bothered. I think they’re trying to make shops pointless so they can then removed them when the uptake on subscriptions goes down. I also don’t like the tabs, most people miss tabs at first glance, I know I did,

  2. The listing frame is the most important point to me, I scrolled up and down the page looking for it! It seems like it’s the most commonly complained about missing feature so far, so hopefully eBay listens and redesigns.

    Missed the ME page, obviously I’d like that to stay.

    Noticed the Red Door missing from the area with the name of the store, yes, but saw the Red Door (oddly) at the top of an Auction format listing, which kind of implied it was a Store listing (the placement).

    Related Items and Services was empty for my listings (even though I’ve painstakingly set up a number of cross-promotions), yet I did see it on another seller’s listing.

    Noticed a small text-link ad for an unrelated product at the very bottom of the page as well.

    Hopefully some of these elements are just glitchy, because the page looked glitchy. I mean, that wouldn’t be a shock, would it?

    Of course the missing listing frame is likely by design and I’m really biting my lip from going off on that one. I’ll make my adjustments and sell on, but my first impression of this page is that they’ve removed every feature of value to the seller (except for the actual item for sale).

    Oh, before I forget, I also hate the tabs for shipping and related items. I think that’s going to confuse the hell out of people who aren’t looking for it and possibly lose sales when they click it and can’t figure out how to click back.

    While the look of the page is attractive I almost feel as if they’ve gone out of their way to design it with the absolute worst utility for sellers imaginable.

    Now let’s sit back and see if they make any adjustments (PLEASE!!!)

  3. Don’t they already have a standard section at the top of each listing? So, they’re busy putting more lipstick on the same ugly pig – I guess nobody told them its what’s underneath all the makeup that counts. Ebay continues to self destruct at break-neck speed. Angering more and more sellers at every turn and disgusting some long term buyers too! From what I read about this new item page – it has much more wrong with it then right with it – and yet another learning curve for buyers! They just do NOT understand and the present management never WILL understand….I’ll spell it out just for them…KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!

  4. I must be one of the lucky ones!

    Have been viewing on .com WITHOUT LOGGING IN. This just may give a better chance of viewing one of the new mutants.

    Overall impression was initially not too bad (English for mild approval).

    Had to make an adjustment to my shop name font ‘colour’ though. Was originally uncoloured. You need a dark colour to show on the ‘current’ palid background that they are employing.

    Then one major major worry. You only get an enlarged thumbnail picture, which can then be supersized (opens new window).
    There is no picture in the description area.
    This is going to slow viewing down for items where both picture and description are of the essence. Which generally is the case for my items. You simply cannot see both at once! Thus not an easy shopping experience.

    The emphasis seems to be on the mechanics of the buy process and not the more important step of persuading the would be shopper that this is the item for him in the first place.

    In fact if you analyse a lot of what is happening on eBay just now this is a common element to much of it.

    Has eBay lost the plot??

  5. It’s (thankfully) not showing up on the computer I usually work on, but appeared on a second that I logged into. So it seems pretty random right now, not even by account, but by computer?

    Regarding what John (#6) said, I didn’t even notice that about the pictures–maybe I’m one up on them this time, as I always embed my images into my description and then just plug the main one into their system for gallery. Of course as I type this I worry that that may be the next thing outlawed, after all, if it doesn’t fit the ideal template…

    Like I said earlier though, the listings are attractive, so I have a feeling the only people that are going to be bummed out are sellers who have eBay stores because they seem to be most of the wiped features.

  6. It looks like the links to shop categories are being addressed, which is good news for shop owners, I could not add a screen shop here but have on the Tamebay blog.

  7. the country shipping option drop down country boz missing is a major backward step

    90% of my questions , are how much is shipping!
    even when we offer Free shipping 😯

  8. #8 got my hopes up, #9 is what I think. I want the whole frame. C’mon it actually looks pretty nice, no need to change it just for the sake of changing it!

    Thanks Sean, Sue

  9. checked another and the shipping box is back or I missed it

    so I have no real problem with this page

  10. The left hand shop categories and the listing frame are vital upselling features for shop owners. Looks like we are going to have to use html to program them in for ourselves in the new template! This is ok for those of us who have access to techies but unfair on sellers who dont know a bit of html.

    Similarly easy to program in a link to the ME page if you have the basic skills.

    Could be a precurser to eBay getting rid of shops alltogether and having long running “classified” listings instead which has been suggested elsewhere.

  11. What has been the point of individual sellers developing their own branding, some over many years, if ebay then go and push thaat branding into the background. There is far more to this new page than it seems.

    New listing pages, new My Ebay pages, new search pages. eBay is making too many changes too quickly. Something is going on here and I wonder if we are seeing signs of panick in this strategy.

    eBay are going to lose an awful lot of business, this is not eBay, this is greed and people are not so stupid as to allow themseles to be fooled for much longer.

  12. Click to ensmallen’?

    Not keen. But then I prefer a more lassez-faire / ‘enough rope to hang themselves’ approach than the current eBay nanny-statesque approach. I believe this helps buyers to seperate good & bad sellers more easily than having everyones’ listing look the same.

    Like others on here, I would also prefer everything to be visible on the same page, without any tabs & drop-down menus.

  13. Going back to Yael’s point, re. hiding combined shipping behind the shipping tab – this is going to cost us yet more combined sales. I know that a lot of my multiple purchasers do so because they can save on shipping, and not having that so “in their face” will encourage them less.

    And yes, I know I can put all this in the description… which just means that when eBay change some rule or other, or postage fees change, I’ll have to edit all my descriptions instead of just editing the postage box. More pointless busy work.

  14. “so I have a feeling the only people that are going to be bummed out are sellers who have eBay stores because they seem to be most of the wiped features.”

    You are absolutely correct this effectively wipes out any value to having a store- and it really peeves me big time

    The page is atrocious in general- the obsession with freaking yellow is driving me.

    “hiding combined shipping behind the shipping tab – this is going to cost us yet more combined sales. I know that a lot of my multiple purchasers do so because they can save on shipping, and not having that so “in their face” will encourage them less.”

    Yes, and it is very helpful for buyers to see that notation immediately when clicking the link. Of course revisions of all listings if shipping changes occur. I was stupid and did this and am now paying the excess for the increased postage because I do not want to revise again before I have to with the return crap.

    The loss of the left nav is a huge blow, because it is crucial for multiple item sells. I feel robbed by this, and those dumb category drop downs are not as effective as the left nav.

    All of this is compounded with the upcoming free listings which will swamp the site, allow eBay to put ads on our listings and stores, cause price competitions and drive almost everyone out of business.

    In essence eBay is substantially injuring its value

  15. “All of this is compounded with the upcoming free listings which will swamp the site, allow eBay to put ads on our listings and stores, cause price competitions and drive almost everyone out of business.”

    I’m a buyer, and if this helps me get something for $45 instead of $50, I’m all over it. I hope you don’t go out of business, but I shouldn’t have to pay more to keep you employeed.

  16. @Ozzie
    “I’m a buyer, and if this helps me get something for $45 instead of $50, I’m all over it. I hope you don’t go out of business, but I shouldn’t have to pay more to keep you employeed.”

    Well, because I don’t sell trash the cost of my products are more expensive than fakes or testers…. you may get it for 45, but the probability of you getting S****ed is substantially higher than it currently is. But hey you’ll still have the 5 bucks- personally I prefer to pay a higher price especially on eBay because it decreases the probability of fraud. Rock bottom prices on eBay means rock bottom quality & service or counterfeit products.

  17. Mechelle — Does this mean, if I’m selling fakes, I can raise the price and everyone will assume I’m selling the real stuff? Sounds like flawed logic.

    I have actually found that I can go to the larger e-stores and buy most things cheaper then the prices I’m finding on eBay these days (especially laptop computers). And I can do it without looking at hundreds of listings.

    Please excuse the rant. I’m off my soapbox now….

  18. Fakes are bad because they make it nearly impossible for people to sell the real thing. I wouldn’t trust anyone just because they charge more or claim theirs isn’t a fake. For instance, I’ll never buy flash media on eBay because of the high percentage of fakes. One Chinese distributor tried to convince me to buy their fakes because “95% of the flash cards on eBay are copies.”

  19. I can raise the price and everyone will assume I’m selling the real stuff? Sounds like flawed logic.

    It is not flawed logic when it comes to price cutting. I can produce crap for basically nothing, but I can’t buy and resale quality authentic items and beat the prices of those offering fakes that is the reality.

    I’m not thinking about electronics – I sell beauty products and there are already issues with counterfeit items and low quality products. It is the nature of people as you clearly express to want the lowest price. If eBay starts to display the same way Amazon does there are 25 of these on eBay ranging in price from $6 to $16 how many people will buy a fake? apparently you would, because it is cheaper.

  20. Making more obstacles for sellers is what ebay are good at.
    It’s getting to the point that I don’t think ebay want independent sellers at all, they just want a bunch of massive retailers to split the sales between them. No individuality, no personality, just a bland, homogenised, sanitised, androgenised Amazon clone. It seems ebay have forgotten their roots.

    Some Amazon sellers will have been emailed a questionnaire recently. Some of the questions were asking about more functionality of seller shops and the feelings about a “trusted seller” program. Are Amazon trying to be more like ebay now? The mind boggles.

  21. Honestly, the changes are not buyer or seller friendly at all…Cluttered, sloppy, difficult to find important information, click, click, click and more clicks, scroll up, scroll down, scroll right, scroll left… I ended up using Google for what I needed and purchased from the third link down. It wasn’t Ebay and it proved to be much easier.

    What in the world were they thinking?

  22. I emailed them about it and told them that the page was okay but the image of the item I was looking at was cut. Part of the image was cut off on the right side. The review and guides icons as well as the powerseller and about ME page icons were gone and I use these as a gauge when I am buying. A good friend of mine conducted a survey with thousands of buyers who the majority claimed that they trust the icons of seller with them being indicative that said seller is a active participant in ebay.

  23. Does anyone know if Skype is going to be available on the new page, I notice that there are no Skype buttons to contact the seller on the new style listing page.

  24. #26 I’m not sure but I hope so.

    To be honest I’ve not been able to view the new format on eBay.co.uk, and if I view one of my listings on the old format on eBay.com I don’t see the Skype buttons anyway even though I see them on the UK site.

    Will have to wait and see, but I do hope they keep them – would be stupid to restrict communications having once allowed them

  25. The new layout is cluttered and not clean at all.
    Look at any Amazon item and it’s easy to read and even easier to buy.
    The new ebay listings aren’t either of those so fail in my opinion for presumably for trying to Amazonise the listings pages on ebay.

  26. I’ve looked at my eBay.co.uk listings using eBay.com’s new item page, they’re now showing business seller information. No link to revise.



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