eBay has done it again, taken something that’s not broken and decided to fix it. You may not have noticed that it even happened unless you were trying edit your eBay About Me page. Every time I tried to click edit I was taken to my User Profile page instead. Until finally a message came up saying that About Me pages will be replaced by a new User Profile.
So what’s the big deal? Although many sellers didn’t realized it the About Me page was one of the most powerful on eBay. The reason being that it was completely customizable, you could use it for whatever purpose you saw fit. If you wanted to promote a blog, start an email list, grow a Facebook page you could do it with your About Me page. What can you do with the new User Profile? You can add pictures and a description and that’s about it! You can’t link to anything outside of eBay. You’re stuck promoting their new followers system which isn’t nearly as effective as an email list would be.
My guess is that eBay saw that most people were either (1) not using their About Me page or (2) using it to keep their customers on their own email list or blog. In eBay’s thinking your customers are really their customers. Even though you find the products, list the products, deal with the customers and pay eBay at the end of it all. It is not enough for them to even give you the slightest control over your own business.
eBay may say that this new User Profile will help engage buyers and keep them coming back but I doubt that very highly. The whole thing looks like a cheap Facebook ripoff. As a buyer I wouldn’t see any extra incentive to follow a seller since the page is static and lacks any interactivity at all. As seller there is no system to allow you to give buyers an incentive to follow your profile like Discounts or Free Shipping.
This new User Profile system like many eBay features will end being something that is there but is not really used by sellers and that buyers simply don’t care about. When will eBay understand that sellers may just have a better idea of what there customers want than they do?