You may have read a blog post yesterday on AuctionBytes reporting that third party checkouts were to be banned on eBay from June. The post cited ProStores and Infopia as saying that their checkouts were to be discontinued, and named the source of the story as “letters sent to some sellers”: surprisingly, it hadn’t been included in eBay’s biannual changes announcement made the day before.
I spoke to ChannelAdvisor, who said that their own checkout was not being discontinued, though changes were to be made. There’s currently no detail on just what those changes are, but Scot Wingo wrote a long and impassioned plea for CA customers to defend their checkout.
Then eBay weighed in with their own post: Dinesh Lathi writes that third party checkouts will only be available from a select group of providers who “have updated their user interface according to a set of eBay guidelines. Our goal is to give buyers a more consistent checkout experience.” Again, there is a conspicuous lack of detail about exactly what these changes will involve, so sellers using one of the approved providers on Dinesh’s list should contact that provider for more details.
As eBay have been talking since at least eBay Live in Chicago last June about “a more consistent and safe checkout experience”, my guess would be that the new rules will force less merchant branding, no offsite links and definitely no off-eBay upsell. 3P checkouts will remain available for payment processing and stock control purposes, but the way that they’ve been used to siphon customers from eBay to merchant’s own sites will be stopped. But all that is only my guess, and eBay have given me no information on this whatsoever. As Dinesh writes:
Please keep in mind that the definitive source of information about eBay is eBay. You can find accurate information about any planned changes through this Announcement Board and through emails, calls and other official communications from eBay.
The problem is, when eBay themselves don’t give out the information, give out incomplete information, promise announcements and then don’t deliver them, where are merchants and 3P providers supposed to turn?