My Top 3 eBay Wishes – Simple Improvements Would Make a Big Difference

Posted on October 11, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , |


This blog post is not about eBay’s new 2008 policies and what changes I think eBay should make to their current and proposed policies  — I would ask for LOTS of changes if that was the topic today.  The focus today is …. What three very simple things would I ask of eBay that could make a big difference in my job as an eBay seller? 

1. Help buyers use the Combined Shipping System correctly by putting an end to the confusing message which actually encourages buyers to make separate payments for multiple purchases from the same seller:

Buyers who plan on purchasing multiple items purchase one item and then receive the message from eBay with the “Pay Now” button above and they do what they are instructed by eBay to do — they Pay Now…. for EACH and every individual purchase.  This leads to several problems.  First, sellers either have to (a) violate paypal policy and ship all items in one box and then provide partial refunds for all items or (b) sellers have to refund all individual payments and ask for one combined payment or (c) sellers have to ship all items separately.  Sellers pay more PayPal fees when they receive multiple payments instead of one combined payment and they are at risk of being punished by Paypal (held funds or losing a claim for nonreceipt) for trying to make a customer happy and save the buyer on shipping charges by shipping in one box.  And buyers don’t like having their payments refunded and having to pay a second time and they definitely do not like having to pay separate shipping charges when items could have been combined.

Solution: Amend the message the buyer sees when they make a purchase.  Make it clear that if the buyer is not finished making their purchase with the seller that they should wait to pay until they have purchased all items. 

Note that a shopping cart system would prevent this from being a problem in the first place but, working within the current system, a message to the buyer which does not confuse the buyer is immediately necessary.


2. Change the color of negative counts on the feedback page:

Above is how the feedback for eBay seller “Buy” appears on the U.S. eBay site .  Notice that the feedback numbers are red which draws undue attention to those numbers (colors like red and bright yellow and orange draw attention quickly).  In addition, red is an “inflammatory” color and when combined with the negative number, the owner of the seller account is bound to feel more angry about their negatives than they might otherwise.  An angry seller is not a good seller. 

Below is how the feedback for eBay seller “Buy” appears on eBay U.K.  Why can’t the feedback numbers on appear the same way?


3. Shorten the number of days a buyer has to pay before a seller can close a dispute.   

Currently, a buyer can purchase an item and not pay for it but not be held accountable for a total of 15 days or more.  An eBay seller cannot report a buyer for nonpayment until at least 7 days have passed and then, if the buyer does not respond, the seller has to wait at least another 8 days before closing the dispute.  Many buyers will wait until 7 days after the dispute has been opened (14 days after the original purchase) and respond in the dispute console that they intend on paying.  If the seller closes the dispute at that point, the buyer can then leave negative feedback.  No seller should have to hold onto inventory for several weeks before finding out if the buyer is actually going to complete the transaction. 

eBay should shorten the time before filing to 5 days and the time for the buyer to respond to the UPI to 3 days.  Given that eBay will soon require buyers to pay via PayPal or directly with a credit card, there is no reason for payment delay to occur.  Shorten the time so that sellers can get paid promptly or relist their item.

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4 Responses to “My Top 3 eBay Wishes – Simple Improvements Would Make a Big Difference”

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I wish somebody at Ebay would read this. I absolutely agree to everything you suggested. Why in the world has Ebay not put a cart into the system? Is it because of Paypal? Would it be too confusing if a buyer bought from several different sellers and wanted to pay all at once? It seems sales could be much better for Ebay if they put a cart in and could get those multiple sales.

What about having some kind of icon next to a seller’s id when the seller is logged into their ebay account? This way if a buyer sees this, they won’t walk away from their computers after emailing a question. I hate having to wait a day for an ebayer to reply to either a request for more information or something as simple as combining shipping. How difficult can this be?

Some people, myself included, keep themselves logged in to eBay constantly, but this does not necessarily mean they’re sitting in front of their computer actually looking at their eBay page, even if it’s open on their computer. My computer is on 24×7 and I keep many browsers windows open with various sites I check regularly throughout each day. So, that kind of icon wouldn’t be helpful and might even cause more problems if a buyer thinks the seller is logged in and ignoring them.

These three improvements would be a good start. If they want to ban Auctiva and the like, they should replace the service with a free service of their own. Why do they charge so much to improve the listing when it’s to their advantage to make it look as good as it can be so they generate more sales?
I think they have either growing pains or they think that we can still compete with each other for market share and still pay out 20% to eBay and Paypal.

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