eBay reduce buyer transparancy (Update)

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Bidder HistoryeBay appear to have removed the ability to search a buyer’s bidding history. If you attempt to search bidding history you are now redirected to the user’s eBay profile page.

Bidding History was always a feature of , and indeed if you go to eBay Advanced Search the option to search bidding history is still present, at least on eBay UK, it was removed from eBay.com in October 2013.

Why the link to search bidder history is still present on eBay UK we’re not sure, but we suspect having removed it from eBay.com, eBay have now blocked the feature and forgotten they left the link live on other international sites.

There are two schools of though on bidder history – one is that it’s a useful tool to be able to see what a buyer has purchased. For instance many sellers feel that viewing a buyer’s history and seeing if they’re purchased similar items to one they’ve just bid on from them gives a feeling of security (or rings an alarm bell) enabling them to decide whether to cancel the bid or allow the sale to proceed and ship the item.

Others, mainly buyers, feel that what they purchase on eBay is their own private business and that others have no right to be snooping around their personal buying habits.

It’s worth noting that eBay also started hiding feedback titles and item links in buyer feedback last year.

The inability to search a buyer’s previous bidding history won’t affect most professional sellers. They have neither the time nor inclination to go digging into a buyer’s history and most times by they time they would the horse has bolted and they’ve already got an unpaid item on their hands. The people this is likely to upset the most are smaller sellers and other buyers who feel that openness and the ability to see buying history is what part of being part of a community is all about.

9 Responses

  1. Not just smaller sellers. Checking bid history is part of our security checks on large ticket transactions. Given how poor the protection is that eBay offers sellers, we like to do our own checks where we can’t afford the loss.

    The danger with lack of security and transparency is that eBay becomes a marketplace for small ticket items only. The more valuable stuff will seep around the sides.

  2. With all these automated messages and cases being opened, we get a lot of messages sent to us in error, where the buyer has intended to contact another seller, usually with a complaint, but because the last item they purchased was from us, it inserts our details automatically. We can usually search their history and point them in the right direction, and they’re often grateful and come back to us again in the future. This change simply reduces the level of customer service that we provide.

  3. The buyer bid/buyer history was also handy if you had someone that was continually saying INR. As you could go back to previous sellers.

  4. We use it when our eBay Customers question does not relate to our item & we check their previous purchases & direct them to the correct seller, now we cannot do this.

    It was also great with the scammers out there, enabling us to contact other sellers when the scammers are using every method in the book to get their money back.

    Latest one INR, then tracking on Poste Itailane shows Signed for, INAD, OK please return, buyer; no thanks, just refund & I will keep it. Us; Refunds only given when returned & received.

  5. im used to doing this, and for different reasons as mentioned above. sometimes it helps me target a buyer, or avoid one!

    i wonder if there will be any third party tools that could now do this? gap in the market maybe for it.

  6. This is bad news for me

    I was able to monitor other buyers in my field

    and use their buys as buying ideas, rather than trawling for hours and hours

    So now this avenue is gone and my buying is down and hence less commission for ebay

  7. It’s one thing for eBay to carry out “house-keeping” and try to simplify their, at times, impossible to navigate web site . . . but once again this continues to tip the balance. Yet another change made that favours buyers!


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