My Ebay Suggestions
An interesting idea came to me the other day while reading a blog post concerning eBay's new return center for customers. It seems eBay is always looking at what has worked for other large internet companies (amazon) and adding new features to the website. Trying to be all things to all things to all buyers just doesn't work. Here are my suggestions for improving the experience for the eBay buyer and the bottom line for eBay sellers.
- Choose one search method and stick to it. Sometimes while searching eBay I'll get a full page of listings at other times I'll get product listings (with suggested top rated sellers). Searching should be easy and let buyers find what they are looking for fast. It should also be predictable, most buyers would probably appreciate the lowest price first option as the default. The product listings are clearly another way to try to copy amazon but amazon did something eBay never does they kept it simple and stuck to one way to search for items.
- Separate Buy It Now items from auctions. With auctions you want to see which item is ending soonest and which items have the least amount of bids. The end dates for Buy It Now items really don't mean anything at all, we all know that they will just be renewed again after their end date if they don't sell. My suggestion is to make Buy It Now items completely different from auction listings. With an auction you need a new listing for each unique auction. With Buy It Now items you only need a page with product details and list of the sellers and their prices. This would also simplify the listing process for Buy It Now items as well. Buy It Now items could still be charged every 30 days just as they are now but there would be no need for the buyer to see what date the item is ending at.
- Automatically allow buyers to follow their favorite sellers. Social media is a big deal right? So why is it just now that eBay has added a like button to their listings? Why not allow buyers to follow sellers directly from their listings? Ebay has feature that allows you to publish you're selling feed to twitter and facebook. Why not add an easy way to let buyers subscribe to that selling feed themselves? Repeat customers for individual sellers means more sales for eBay. Currently to build a list you have to have a store to publish a newsletter and then within that newsletter get them to follow you on social media. It seems simpler just to let buyers subscribe directly to selling feeds from the listing page.
- Get rid of the feedback system. Don't get the wrong idea I don't want to exchange one feedback system for another I want to get rid of feedbacks altogether. Really the whole idea of seller feedback stems from this idea that eBay is "a community". Which was never really true but now is laughable. Doesn't eBay see how silly it is for sellers to give buyers positive feedback when they aren't allowed to give them anything else? Or for sellers to have to email reminders so that buyers will leave feedback when buyers don't really care? The only time a buyer really wants to leave feedback is when it's negative. So I propose to do away with the whole thing. If eBay wants a metric for seller performance they can divide the total sales by claims and or refunds. Buyers and sellers have more important things to do than leave feedback.
Anyway those are just a few suggestions for how eBay could be improved. Ideas I think are really wins for everybody the buyer, the seller, and of course eBay. The main point of this post however is not what I think but what you think. Post your suggestion big or small in the comment box and let eBay know what you think.