10 changes Mark wishes eBay would make

No primary category set

Following this weeks eBay Seller Release Mark Buckingham, SEO specialist, eBay trainer and consultant has a host of features and tweaks he wishes eBay would address.

I’m not unique among sellers in possessing an arms-length wishlist of perennial gripes I’d like eBay to fix; from improvements to search and erstwhile popular tools to free images for all. Some of us even fantasise that one sundrenched day, a Seller Release will cheerily announce lower fees (sadly I remain a fantasist and by way of a caveat for this guest post, a generalist).

The bright minds at eBay do listen to sellers but they can’t please everyone, so we adopt and adapt. Here are my favourite bugbears that I’d like to opine (purely personal vents of course, of which I’ve no idea whether any shall see the light of day) …

1. The Death of Featured First

I’m dismayed that the useful, if pricey, Featured First enhancement is to be retired. How will sellers launching new listings with brilliant offers quickly compete with existing Good-’til-Cancelled listings that have chalked up a sales history of several thousand sales (and in some cases, may no longer be the most attractive propositions). I know I may struggle, suggestions welcome.

2. Lower Fees

Whilst insertion fees are the lowest they’ve been (as long as you don’t do anything silly, like adding lots of nice images and subtitles!*) it’s sad that the fees to sell have hit the ceiling, and, rumour has it, that it dissuades some sellers to list more expensive items. A more balanced fee structure would encourage a greater number of high-ticket low-margin items on eBay.

* And yes, you should be silly, probably more often than not.

3. Bring Back Personalized Bulk Emails

I’m not sure if eBay always trusts me/ us, or not, but I lament those time-saving bulk emails when in need: notifications of emergencies; unforseen carrier issues; inclement weather affecting deliveries; a bulk message to those buyers of custom-made dog gifts who’ve yet to supply me a name for engraving.

4. That Pesky Sales Figure

As sellers know, ending a listing effectively re-sets the lovely “X sold” figure in the listing back to zero (not the sales or popularity score, initially, mind). These figures matter, eBay. A pause button would be good, because to end isn’t, err, always the ending.

5. Free Images

At the risk of whining, I’m irked that eBay didn’t offer it’s legion of loyal sellers free images in this Seller Release. Need I point out the blindingly obvious: it’d be a welcome alleviation to an oppressive fee percentage. Such would surely dovetail nicely with rising mobile purchases and lower returns when venturing into the promised land of cross-border trade.

6. Credit Card Payments

When a buyer selects to pay with credit card, a small but notable number of buyers think they’ve paid. Sadly the messaging appears to be remiss: it would be ideal for sellers to insert a page that gives the buyers all the information they need to actually complete the payment. Obviously this isn’t the only area of the checkout process that could be improved, but definitely one issue to address.

7. eBay Top Rated Seller Qualification

I’ve love to see eBay offer differentiated qualification across categories. High-volume jiffy bag sellers in one corner: multi-boxed, white-goods, low-volume sellers in the other. Admittedly, segmentation will be a tough one to tackle but I reckon eBay could crack it.

8. Enhancement to My Messages

Hands up who’s bothered about seeing more advanced message functionality: improved and broader search; alerts, better threading and grouping; reminders; an undo facility? No show of hands; well I still care, ok!

9. Better Analytics

eBay’s own Listing Analytics tool shows promise, but has a long way to go before it becomes the really useful drill-down tool we want it to be. Your thoughts?

10. eCheques

Put simply – why do they still exist?

Of course, I could ramble on: resurrecting eBay University (admittedly, not a grave concern, as is my potential quarrel about Special Domestic shipping rate tables – which I shall save for later); better integration between eBay and PayPal in Open Cases, better DSR communication to buyers and so forth. These quirks notwithstanding, I still love eBay. Do you?

31 Responses

  1. no 2
    two chuffin right we think twice about listing expensive items these days,
    sell something fora thousand and ebay paypal get at least 120 quid.
    and then some bulls lug returns if from the US and customs slap duty and vat ,then parcel force add a handling fee , its easier just selling cheap tat

  2. To be fair, Listing Analytics really isn’t TOO bad. Yes, it could be better – but gripes with fees and revision of sold listings (not to mention postage rate tables and carriage surcharges to Special Domestic Areas, which escaped my wrath on this occasion) are at the top of my wishlist of areas I’d like eBay to tackle.

    Let’s get some debate going – I suspect the capacious minds at eBay will be reading this ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. all the above are doable thats why they irritate,
    how about ebay really going for it, and changing the categories from why back ,that seem to be Based on someone copying a list from an index or list in a book or some other on line site, they bo my napper in,
    they are so idiotic


    who evey invented those needs exterminated ,

    they are crackers too,

    antique fine jewellery specfics do not have a RING specfic available,
    so in the left hand drop down there are thounds of rings in the not specified,
    I repeat
    NOT SPECIFIED whats the good of item specfics when the largest section cant be effin specified?

  5. A rather mundane change:

    Addresses to be in Royal Mail format and post codes to be in capitals.

    Twice yesterday I had to do a Royal Mail address check because I knew that the starting initials in the postcode didn’t tally with the address ie PO…. for a Plymouth address and RG for Glasgow.

  6. I would like eBay to clear up the growing problem of Chinese sellers pretending to be despatching from the UK just because they list the item location as UK. Only when clicking into the feedback profile or the business information at the bottom shows they are based in China.
    They are offering prices which UK sellers cannot compete with but have not so good feedback profiles.
    I have had to stop selling several items as they no longer sell due to these Chinese sellers pretending they are in the UK monopolising several markets.

  7. Just a small thing.

    If we are logged into eBay and we want to end a listing then we get forced to log back in again.

    I am not 4 years old eBay, and perfectly capable of making a decision without you holding my hand.

    You don’t ask me to login again if I want to spend some money do you ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. We are rather sad to see the death of Featured First. ๐Ÿ™

    It is/was the only way of getting visabilty as in our category it is not unusaual to have listings finish regualy on page 1000+ even though we tick all the boxes to (supposedly) receive priority visability.

  9. Couldn’t agree more Goodrockingtonight

    Some argue it’s good to see its back. I disagree, although I don’t think it was a brilliantly designed promotional tool, it was a promotional tool for sellers who had a good deal befitting the usage of a promotional tool.

    Now we just trust and hope in Best Match.

    I think I’ll need some loctite adhesive for my crossed-fingers.

  10. I have seen you at various events Mr Buckingham, and you speak a lot of sense…keep it up!

  11. Thanks Darren. TO which address do I send your commission cheque to? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Incidentally, I’m hoping to hold another round of small eBay master-classes/ workshops soon. Email me at my website if interested.

    And lastly, I’d like to add the words “mostly” to your kind compliment : )



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