eBay UK Spring Seller Release:
The end of custom eBay shop design

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If you are thinking of investing in a custom eBay shop design or considering updating your current eBay shop then the best advice we can currently give you is to cancel your plans. eBay today announced in their Spring Seller Release a new native eBay shop design and announced what is effectively the end of support for custom eBay shop design.

In some ways this is a shame as over the years I’ve seen some fantastic custom eBay shop design (I even had one myself a decade ago!) However eBay want a standard design familiar to all buyers both on desktop and mobile as well as the ability to tweak shops for SEO so custom shop design is coming to an end. I asked the question and understand that there will be no exceptions – even the largest retailers and brands will have to migrate to a standard eBay shop at some point in the future.

eBay made four key points which will see updated native eBay shops and the retirement of custom design:

  • eBay are making eBay Shopfronts more secure, better optimised for search engines (SEO), and more mobile friendly, as well as improving merchandising options.
  • For sellers with non-custom eBay Shopfronts, the change is automatic and no action is needed. Also, your Shop URL will remain the same, with the addition of HTTPS. If you have off eBay links to your eBay shop then remember to update your hyperlinks
  • For sellers with custom eBay Shopfronts, your Shopfront will remain as is for now, but we encourage you to opt-in to the new experience to benefit from the new enhancements and keep listings free from active content and HTTPS-ready.
  • In the future, eBay will move everyone to the new experience.

Please note: After May 2018, it will no longer be possible to set up a custom eBay Shopfront and it will not be possible to convert back to the old experience.

This change isn’t happening until May, should I invest in some customisation now?

If you are a new Shop subscriber, we highly recommend that you do not invest in any custom HTML Shop experience, as this will not be supported after May. We recommend that you use the native eBay Shops experience.

– eBay

But I really want a custom eBay shop design

The language that eBay use is pretty clear – they want everyone to have a standard eBay shop front which will be mobile optimised, HTTPS friendly and SEO optimised. eBay do not want custom shop designs in the future and if you invest any further money in them then the Seller Release strongly suggests that you will get a very short term benefit from this.

If you think you need specific functionality from your custom eBay shop design or if you think your brand needs presenting differently to make it stand out, then until May you can still launch a custom design. However, it will be short lived so bear this in mind when commissioning the design work.

What about custom listing design?

eBay haven’t made any announcements about custom listing design, but Dan and I have agreed for years that at some point this too will be banned. Most custom listing designs don’t perform well on mobile, although many designers have in recent years provided mobile optimised versions.

In our opinion here at Tamebay, we believe eBay will at some point insist that listing descriptions are text only with only minor formatting (Headings, bold, italics etc) allowed. We would go further than eBay and suggest you not only don’t invest in shop design but also think very carefully about any investments in listing design as they may well be next to go.

21 Responses

  1. Makes you wonder if this is part of the “No contact details” policy… Custom images within a custom storefront could contain contact details that go against the policy and would be hard to police.

  2. EBay is certainly trying their hardest to be Amazon, have to laugh, standardised listings and store just like boring old Amazon, product listings with buy box just like Amazon, no need to shop at ebay because its an amazon clone, might as well go straight to amazon, perhaps eBay should concentrate on being eBay instead of morphing into Amazon, other companies have tried this and failed, rakuten being one.

    EBay why don’t you start being ebay

  3. Is it eBay ‘trying to be Amazon’ or are they complying with industry standard in the same way Amazon do?

    They have to comply with the demands of Google and the like and also to incorporate the new technologies of the future. 60% (last I heard) of sales on eBay are touched by mobile, shopping is going to screenless devices and picture search and changes are geared to these new ways to shop.

    eBay will never be Amazon, they don’t sell anything or use you for market research.
    eBay only make money when you sell, and if buyers get a bad experience they’re less likely to come back and buy again and that’s no good for any of us.

    The last item I bought was £9 cheaper on eBay from a top rated seller This item was £30 on Amazon and £21 on eBay, I got it as expected and on time. Can’t complain at that.

    As for charging more FVF to bad sellers, couldn’t agree more, those sellers tar us all with the same brush.

    Good job!

  4. As ebay 3rd party sales are higher than amazon would it not be that ebay are trying to increase the lead against amazon by taking elements of what its competitor does and adding them?

  5. Funny thing here – eBay have been trying to be like Amazon for years. Now they ban shop designs just about the time that Amazon has decided to allow them?

    Amazon have taken a long time to respond to seller requests for shop designs, but slow though they are, at least they appeared to listen.

  6. I have just invested in a new shop design in order to help build a name on site and get some returning customers. Once again eBay want to hold sellers back for their own selfish purposes. It used to be eBay was just a marketplace, it now seems they want to be a seller like Amazon. Perhaps they should just set up their own shop on site now and start competing with us in their ridiculous environment. Don’t even get me started on the rest of the changes.

  7. Spent £2000 on a new design and storefront 6 months ago – Was really happy with it – been doing my own ‘copy and paste’ templates for 10 years or more but wanted a more professional look – what a waste – felt like someone really kicked me in the BA**S when i just read this.

  8. We have been working with a company recently to get a new store design, no payments have been made yet. We may have to put a stop to the work as it now seems a waste of money.

  9. This has been coming for a while and to be honest it can be quite difficult to even find a shop front on mobile – even on a PC it’s not that obvious. From the buyer’s point of view the user experience is very similar to clicking on “See other items”.

  10. Excuse the possible misunderstanding, but presumably this refers to actual design templates rather than just ‘custom pages’ within an existing basic ebay shop?

    Hopefully the custom pages (shop policy, about us, delivery, etc), and the relevant links, will remain intact when they automatically migrate us to a ‘new native design’?

    (The fact they never got round to allowing these custom pages when swapping from old to new shop layouts a few years ago, hardly inspires confidence!)

  11. It is important to note that at the first stage only stores without custom designs will be automatically updated to the new design.
    Sellers who have custom store will not be affected until late 2019. Even if you don’t have a custom store yet you might consider creating one before may, because eBay will let you keep it for the next 1-2 years.
    While investing in custom design might not be justified, using designed template will make much more sense.

    Disclaimer: I am the founder of 3Dsellers.com a company providing great looking designed templates for eBay stores.

  12. I do not have a paid for store front, just the ebay generated one from way back.. However it does appear with just one swoop, ebay just killed an industry overnight (who write these store fronts/templates etc) and will incorporate it themselves…

    My guess then is, want a smart store front on ebay.. then you will pay us for it!

    As for complying with Google.. there in is the rub, they are a browser who controls the world… the security issue is one ebay should have addressed already/from the moment is was noted as being an IT issue and likely to restrict business….. they charge us for a serviceable platform.. if it isnt secure and complying with Google; why are you charging…?

    Incidentally; I was researching for a new TV yesterday and also a new printer.. web search… on both items, NONE appeared to be available in ebay on Google, the paid for / sponsored did at the top in google shop.. but none in the google listings below google shop;. not until the end of page two.. no what is that about? = ebay fallen out with google again.. is that why my sales are down in the last 3 weeks ?

    Lets not forget Google were fined $2.1bn recently for manipulating search results, a UK couple with a comparison site were persistently down graded in search results… after years of complaining; I read google white listed them… the result was 10,000 hits to their site per day….. they fought for years…

    Anyone unclear about who is playing with YOUR future here should look at that and then consider “what if the same happened to my ebay sales/visibility” ..

    Never mind Google playing with search results, if the algorithms can do this on Google; imagine what ebay are doing with them!!…

    What makes me smile is; if only they knew what they were doing with them…!!
    We could all make a decent business work.. and work well and PROFITABLY..

    After reading the updates, and dealing with ebay staff, its very very obvious they have no clue about how the platform works for, or should work for sellers…

    The only diatribe understood is .. INVESTORS WANT TO SEE GROWTH IN REVENUES.. so best milk the sellers…

  13. I had my storefront done a couple of years ago, from memory, it didn’t cost any more than a couple of hundred quid. Its nothing fancy, but was better than the bland thing which E-Bay had as standard.

    However, I think the comment by Ben further up is very pertinent, I have not seen any evidence that the storefront design makes the slightest bit of difference to my sales. Sure the template for the listing itself is important, but not the storefront because I am not convinced many people go to it anyway.

    Also, I have had to pay twice last year to get it tweaked to remedy things which E-Bay had decided needed changing (contact details etc).

    So, my view on this would be that there may be some positives in terms of visibility by moving to the new E-Bay standard, and PERHAPS, in the future, I won’t have to pay someone to amend my storefront page when E-Bay decide to change something else. In short, the prospect of some extra visibility, and one less job to do in terms of keeping it up to date. A win-win at this stage, but who knows what cunning plan E-Bay will follow this with….

  14. That is great news for us as another ‘large’ Ebay lingerie seller has copied the look of our website for a few years now, and this will stop them.


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