Love Apple? Soon you’ll love eBay!

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RJ Pittman homeeBay are getting serious about improving the site design for both their desktop and mobile offerings, so much so that they’ve just hired RJ Pittman, the guy responsible for Apple’s worldwide ecommerce platform for the Apple Online Stores. RJ was responsible for Apple’s design, product management and commerce innovation and will now become Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Senior Vice President at eBay.

RJ will lead eBay’s Product organization and be responsible for creating world-class, end-to-end product experiences reporting directly to Devin Wenig, eBay Marketplaces President.

As head of the department, RJ will oversee all facets of Global Product for eBay Marketplaces. The product organization has up until now reported to eBay Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges, who will continue to lead the Technology team at eBay.

This is a sign that eBay are ready to radically overhaul the look and feel of the marketplace platform. If you look at eBay compared to a year ago they’ve made massive improvements to the look and feel of the site, but in truth it’s still a bit 1990s when compared to the slick Apple websites. It’s no great secret that I’m not an Apple lover, but even I have to admit their design and presentation is superb and if RJ can overhaul eBay to give it the same world class look and feel I’m all in favour.

He’ll have his work cut out though, I’ve heard rumours about how something as simple as changing the colour of the Buy It Now button involves thousands of hours of research and A-B testing as it can have literally millions of dollars worth of impact. Getting something wrong not only impacts eBay’s bottom line but also of course devastate seller’s businesses.

eBay users hate change too and always have done. When eBay launched it had a grey background and so as not to upset site users eBay changed it to white one shade at a time over a 30 day period, hoping no one would notice too drastic a change! That set the tone and site changes are just as controversial today.

What would you like to see RJ change on eBay first? Do you hate the blue buttons? Do you think the menu sucks? What about the search box? Why are eBay categories on the home page in a grey font which turns to a blue font on the search result pages? In fact why blue fonts at all? Isn’t Red, Black and Blue fonts on eBay listing descriptions something you consider to be more Web 1.0 than Web 2.0 and certainly has no place in Web 3.0?

Suggestions for improvements please, let’s get a list together for RJ to start with on his first day at eBay. Let’s get eBay a little less 1990 and Appled into the 22nd century.

20 Responses

  1. Quite a bit of old-fashioned black, red and blue fonts in Tamebay releases isn’t there?

  2. Easy job then, as ebay have no products, just sellers. Shame they forgot that. As for testing changes; oh come on. I can’t format an ebay order page for my printer since the changes under chrome; ebay seem to have forget standard UK paper sizes, and the solution to getting my muliple payment purchases to seperate into indivual invoice…erm..go log into the US site and access your account from there. Sellers hate change because it is always a mess; I would dearly love Tamebay to do an in-depth article on exactly what goes on at ebay when these changes are implemented- it feels like a spotty teenager in his bedroom.

  3. Yeah, go ebay – pretty up the appearance while ignoring all the annoying and time-consuming issues with the nuts and bolts of the site

  4. Maybe he could start with a turbolister that works for the thousands of Apple users who also use Ebay,
    We asked for it 10 years ago and every year since but no joy.
    Ebay totally ignore Apple users ,its about time that changed.
    Come on RJ your first challenge.

  5. I spend all my time redoing listing to comply with ever changing alteration to the site. Item species, pictures, ‘turbo’ lister that crashes after an update…..and now this (probably overpaid) ‘expert’ will probably change more things that require me to make more alterations? Oh what fun

  6. An equivalent to Turbo Lister for mac would be a great start and a more appealing shop front section without having to pay mega money to have it done.

  7. Fix the search function which is broken.
    Fix the best match function which is broken.
    Do not make any changes to the site which involve or require work from sellers from the end of August onwards.
    Focus on fixing and improving the prcesses that affect sellers by talking to them for once.
    Hold off changing the eye candy until these other more fundamental issues are resolved or are in the process of being fixed.
    We can dream can’t we…..

  8. What happened to the multiple purchase discount feature?

    Or an ability to offer savings for “free shipping” multiple purchases?

    Too complex for mobile maybe?

    Or possibly impacted on fee income so a low priority?

    I’m guessing that anything that is not mobile friendly or any issues that don’t impact mobile will never be implemented/sorted. Fine way to treat ebay desktop laptop customers / buyers.

  9. For multiple purchases post can be discounted if charged and this is shown in the listing. The product price cannot be auto discounted for multiple purchases. Sellers can of course choose to make a refund if multiple purchases are made by a single buyer however ebay will not refund fees.

    One question though. Do ebay charge the full fee or a discounted fee on an item where shipping has been discounted up front?

    And what happens if several purchases are made over several days (in the case of auctions for example) and then combined with a shipping saving given?

  10. eBay charges the fvf on postage based on what the customer intially actually pays. So if shipping is discounted up front – eg on an invoice – the shipping fvf is based on that discounted charge.

  11. As a volume seller, paying eBay £8000+ in fees per annum, it would be handy to be able to print out labels in bulk.

    FFS, Selling Manager Pro (I love the Pro bit) allows two labels max. Big deal, eBay. So, I have to pay £50 each year for software to do the bloody job properly.

    And then there’s another £15 per month to get decent listing software. Turbo Lister is like 1990’s crapware.


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