Shopping basket to replace eBay checkout

eBay have announced that the Shopping Basket which is currently in Beta is to be rolled out across the site. They say that recent tests suggest shopping basket will be popular with buyers, and that they expect it to result in larger orders and fewer unpaid items.

The shopping basket will automatically replace the eBay checkout. It will also spell the end for the Buy It Now button on eBay which will be replaced with an Add To Basket button. This is a big advantage as it will remove unpaid items for fixed price eBay listings – buyers won’t be able to purchase them until they go to their shopping basket, check out and pay. Until that time the item will be available for other buyers to purchase.

As a seller you don’t need to do anything, but there are a few things that you should consider to maximise your sales, once the basket is mandatory for all buyers:

  • Offer discounts for combined postage
    Postage discounts are a great incentive for buyers to purchase more from the same seller. With shopping basket, all your discounts are clearly marked and buyers can view other items you offer. It’s easy to set up.

  • Consider offering free postage
    In the shopping basket buyers will see two totals – one for the product purchase price and the other total for carriage. There is a chance that some buyers might be put off with shipping charges when buying from multiple sellers and by offering free postage there’s less chance of them dumping your product before paying to reduce shipping costs.

  • Offer a variety of postal options, including international delivery
    Having more than one method of delivery and detailing the cost of each can increase the likelihood of purchase.

  • Offer multi-quantity listings with a longer duration on fixed price inventory
    A listing that expires is a lost sales opportunity. List items for longer and stock greater quantities, so they remain available in buyers’ shopping baskets.

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Blue sky thinking wanted as to how best to set up your listings to take advantage of the new eBay basket experience. Should you emphasise urgency? "Pay quickly or else you risk being left empty handed by a basket sniper." Or chilling out? "Take your time, relax, do a one stop shop and fill your basket with my unrivalled exceptionally priced goodies to enjoy the best shopping experience and shipping discounts , and then make one simple payment. Easy!"

Gary • 22nd February 2011 •

This is great, but seeing as they cant work out how to make carriage charges for offshore UK work. Some isle of manner, comes along adds 50 items to his basket checks out and then states. The isle of man is UK mainland because royal mail say so. Then leaves 50 Negs. So Its pretty rubbish really. fleabay needs to actually come up with a good solution for carriage charges first before implementing this.

dave • 22nd February 2011 •

Chris, Is the substance of the post eBay speak or your take? It isn't totally clear. The bullet points, at least in part, appear to conflict.

JD • 22nd February 2011 •

The opints above are that of eBay, it came out in an email today. In my opinion I see some potential hurdles to overcome as a seller now there is/will ne a basket. Firstly shipping charges, after adding say 3 or 4 items to your basket, how i sthe shipping price/s going to be presented...per seller or as a total at the bottom? Either way the buyer is going to think, "crikey, i'm paying a lot for shipping" and mark all the sellers down for shipping costs, even though each individual one may be cheap. Or, the buyer will think "Crikey, I need to find sellers who offer freepost". Also, what if the total payment is more than the paypal balance available to the buyer, what seller gets paid and what seller gets the echeque notification? That seller will seem to have taken a long time to ship compared to the other items which arrived quickly. All in all I think the basket is a good idea, I want to see how these things work though before I pass judgement completely.

BigPoppa • 22nd February 2011 •

Shipping charges after adding 3 or 4 items to your basket - Shown individually with shipping options (if offered) for each seller, but then a total at the bottom. If you buy several items from different sellers carriage can really start to add up and look a lot. buyer is going to think, “crikey, i’m paying a lot for shipping” and mark all the sellers down for shipping costs - Shouldn't be a problem, (especially for free post which gives you an auto five star) and is shown separately in all places other than the basket total. Or, the buyer will think “Crikey, I need to find sellers who offer freepost” - Quite possibly, hence my suggestion to offer free post whenever possible if the total payment is more than the paypal balance available to the buyer, what seller gets paid and what seller gets the echeque notification - I don't know the answer to this, but generally if there is another funding source available (balance or card) then these will be used in preference to eCheque. More to the point it will really start to highlight sellers who despatch fast on premium shipping compared to those that choose to use slow shipping options. I want to see how these things work - No problem, you can check out the shopping basket as a buyer :-)

Chris Dawson • 22nd February 2011 •

I hadn't considered the partial funding issue. Maybe Paypal will force buyers to use all balance or fund using a different method for the entire purchase. The way Amazon does this is to allow you to checkout using one payment method, but create a separate order for each seller. So, if you order three things from three different sellers, you are given three separate orders in your e-mail confirmation. To me, this approach works best for me in terms of refunds, disputes, etc as buyer and seller.

TekGems • 24th February 2011 •

In the past there have been certain cases where PayPal didn't support partial refunds depending on how the buyer paid. Will sellers who sell an item to a buyer this way be able to offer partial refunds or will they be required to offer full refunds?

ebuyerfb • 23rd February 2011 •

As a seller, I know personal payments (and perhaps other funding methods?) have to be refunded in full. I would think the same policy applies to you as a seller for shopping cart purchases.

TekGems • 24th February 2011 •

any idea how the basket on Ebay is going to affect sellers using "Immediate Payment Required by Paypal"? ever since we changed to free P&P and made immediate payment compulsory, our sales have declined - simply because there is no incentive for buyers to stay in our shop rather than going elsewhere. to be able to offer a discount is an excellent idea, but am unsure Ebay will apply this to immediate payment items.

MediaTrader • 23rd February 2011 •

More details here on payment methods will handled for multiple items: I think the implicit message is that you need to offer Paypal.

TekGems • 24th February 2011 •

ming the merciless has it spot over on the auctionbytes blog

northumbrian • 25th February 2011 •

At the moment, there's an option to ask the seller for a total price on multiple purchases. Sometimes this is needed because the seller hasn't specified postage properly (or even at all, e.g. "freight"), and other times quite legitimately because it's very variable depending on the product mix. How will the basket work if it contains a mixture of sales whose value is known, and those where it isn't until the seller(s) respond? Can you pay for some of a basket pending the response(s), or do you have to wait for all of them?

JohnC • 24th February 2011 •

Having sent a “thank you for purchasing from me” email to a buyer they have just replied in words similar to:- “I ordered two CDs can you confirm that you have received payment for two” It transpires that the buyer purchased a second CD from one of my competitors, who has an excellent track record, so there shouldn’t be a problem. However if the second sellers was less diligent and the buyer was unhappy who will get the neg? I really don’t want to send a whole bunch of explanatory emails to confused buyers. Confusion at the very beginning – doesn’t bode well for the future

Glenn • 25th February 2011 •

I know that I am a bit unsophisticated in regard to things electronic so I am likely to be talking total rubbish but. The "Shopping Cart" is the electronic equivalent of the Tesco Trolley when I go shopping. So I finish in Tesco and pay. If there was something I could not find I then go to Sainsburys or Aldi, Or Co-op or Morrisons. I don't just take my Shopping Cart up the road and continue shopping in the next store. Also if there is an Auction up at the Market I don't go there and add a few more items. Yet in effect that is what is proposed. If all the goods put into the Shopping Basket are to be sorted and shipped from the same Warehouse it would not be a problem. But I have my stock here and northumbrian and all the other sellers have their stock in their premises. So even if somebody could get the system to work(and I have a horrible feeling that it will blow up in our faces) the customer is not going to receive one box full of the purchased goods. Instead they will receive(if the thing works) a blizzard of boxes starting a day or so after purchase and possibly going on for weeks(you only need an item or 2 from China). The more I think about it the more I am convinced that its going to be a total dogs breakfast. Or am I completely wrong?

Chris • 25th February 2011 •

Chris, have you used it as a buyer? It's pretty clear that you're buying from different people. (Someone in Richmond will faint to hear me say it but) I think they've designed it pretty well. Some buyers will always assume that everything they've bought on eBay will come from the same source - but then some buyers have always done that, and the shopping cart doesn't exacerbate that particular problem.

Sue Bailey • 26th February 2011 •

To be honest (and I'm sure I'm not alone here) I can hardly remember the name of a single seller I've ever purchased from on eBay. If someone asks me where I got something from I always say "on eBay". The only difference the shopping cart is likely to make is to highlight the sellers who get their items to me quickly in comparison to sellers who choose the slowest possible shipping method as their first (or only) option.

Chris Dawson • 26th February 2011 •

There must be many Sellers who hope that by providing good service that they will develop a "brand loyalty" amongst their customers. So if Fred has bought an item from me and had a trouble free transaction and he is looking for a similar item that he comes straight back to me. Then you say that 'I can hardly remember the name of a single seller I've ever purchased from on ebay'. Doesn't it make all the hard work seem so worth while? The only thing is that in my case I do see the same names coming back to me time and time again. Indeed some even comment on it in the Feedback about always having a good transaction so perhaps I am doing something right.

Chris • 26th February 2011 •

FWIW, I had amazing repeat business on eBay. I think to a large extent it depends on the product: I'd expect Chris to sell mostly to new customers (because who needs more than one printer), whereas I had many people coming back for more beads/jewellery/accessories/etc.

Sue Bailey • 26th February 2011 •

I suspect that in my life I have had a few more printers than ever I have had with beads/jewellery/accessories/etc.

Chris • 26th February 2011 •

If everything worked by 250 pounds per square inch high pressure steam I would know how it worked. I must admit that I am always concerned when electricity is involved anywhere. But I must admit that I have a horrible feeling that it is going to all go pear shaped. When I was an Accountant I had a colleague who just by looking at a page of accounts knew that there was something wrong because the hair on the back of his neck used to bristle up. I was never that good. I had actually to find the problem. He knew it was there and continued looking until he found it. But I have the hair on the back of my neck bristling up about "Shopping Carts" (and when you consider just how little hair I have these days this in itself is a remarkable achievement)

Chris • 26th February 2011 •

Many moons ago(about 1971) I was an Internal Audit Assistant and I was attached to the Systems Auditor. In that Company before any Computer System went Live it had to be tested and aproved by the Systems Auditor. The Computer people had already done their testing and passed it. We were the final hurdle. My Boss had a proud boast He had never yet looked at a system without breaking it. The reason the Computer people wanted it to pass so they were only testing for things that they knew it could do-I sometimes wonder if that is what ebay does. So what did we do? Well lets say there was a 7 digit numeric field. We put 7 x 9's in it and added 1. Invariably we got a row of 0's-No use at all to an Accountant. We wanted bells to ring, lights to flash, error messages etc. If there was an Alpha Field we slipped in a few Numerics, a Numeric field we slipped in a few Alphas. We ran it with a dummy set of accounts and looked to see how it would deal with a few transactions etc. Invariably it would fail and we would reject it. There would be a lot of muttering from the Computer Department and they would modify it. Usually it failed a second and sometimes a third time(each time we would put in a few more difficult tests) until finally we were happy. After all as far as we were concerned we did not want to get to Final Accounts time and then learn that the thing had lost numerous transactions etc. (It did not have to be an Accountancy System we had the final say even over Shop Floor Production or Stores Systems). I sometimes wonder if ebay when they are carrying out their tests are letting those with a vested interest in the scheme do the testing and they don't know(or care) that if it turns out to be a dogs breakfast it will do serious harm to the interests of a large number of people. Certainly from my point of view I would always advocate more(much more) testing of a system before it goes live(and let us Accountants have a go at it-OK and northumbriam) before it is allowed anywhere near the paying customer. After all if it fails in testing its a nuisance, if it fails in service it could be a disaster.

Chris • 25th February 2011 •

I was attached to the Systems Auditor Have you seen The Human Centipede? :lol:

Sue Bailey • 26th February 2011 •

I was not physically attached to him. To start with he was a little bloke about 5foot 8 or there abouts and weighing about the same as my left leg while I am 6 foot 4 with a 52inch chest and these days about 23stone and even way back in 1971 about 16stone(I was a relative flyweight). The "Boss" of Internal Audit was the Internal Auditor. His Deputy was the Systems Auditor and then there were numerous people on such as Contract Audit(we were in the Defence Industries) and several Audit Assistants of various grades. In my case I worked about half my time for the Systems Auditor and about half on General Internal Audits. But in those days I was Ambitious and kept changing jobs for promotion and more money and greater experience and responsibility. So I did not stay there that long

Chris • 26th February 2011 •

When will roll out be complete? Is it ebay UK only? Looking forward to getting less unpaid items

Hereford United Fan • 27th February 2011 •