eBay Changes Sellers’ Communication Preferences Without Notice

Posted on October 11, 2009. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , |

eBay has made the automated FAQs for sellers available for awhile now.  However, a seller who wanted to use the automated FAQs had to opt in previously.  This weekend eBay changed all sellers’ defaults in the My eBay preferences section.  Now all sellers are automatically using the Contact Seller FAQs unless they opt out now.  The default for the Contact Seller link changed this weekend but there was no notice sent to sellers, or buyers, letting them know that the change occurred.  When eBay assumes that I want to opt in to a new feature that I have been given the opportunity to opt into but chose not to opt into, one would think that eBay would at least inform sellers of the change that was made to an eBay member’s preferences.  Since I don’t often click on Ask Seller a Question on my own listings I would never have known about the change if I had not stumbled upon it.

Note that the listing below is not mine but I’m just using it for informational purposes.




After a potential buyer clicks on “Ask a Question”, the buyer now views a Get Answers page:




The buyer clicks on one of several questions to get an answer.  For example, the potential buyer can now ask about the seller’s return policy and that information is pulled from the seller’s listing and displayed as the answer for the potential buyer.  Unless a seller has created customized questions, the questions and answers presented to the potential buyer are just those that are the ones that eBay automatically has the answers to such as Item Condition and Return Policy.

There is a place for the potential buyer to directly ask the seller a question but unfortunately the eBay member has to scroll way down the page to see that option.



While this new change has gone into effect this weekend for my browser at home, I noticed that the eBay app for the iPhone is different.  The potential buyer who clicks on “Ask Seller a Question” is immediately presented with a space to email the seller with a question although the options to review the seller’s FAQs are available.

eBay sellers can change the default so that the automated ASQ page does not appear or sellers can edit the questions that the potential buyers can ask.  




Click on the Account tab in the My eBay section then  – Site Preferences – Manage Communication with Buyers

The questions and answers are global meaning that they are the same for every listing that a seller offers.  The customized ASQ page cannot be custom tailored to individual listings.


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5 Responses to “eBay Changes Sellers’ Communication Preferences Without Notice”

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Thanks for the heads-up here.

Checked our account, on .ca was like old prefs,
Maybe another of the wonderful changes for US buyers only…. we’re waiting till april fool’s 2010 for most to arrive up here in Canada.
So nice to be a bit behind the pack some days. 🙂

thanks for the heads-up, brews. I checked the Site Preferences, and noticed for the first time the option to display exact number of items when >10 vs. “more than 10”. Has this been there long?

I also wanted to add: just one more example of eBay’s sucky attitude: We are their lab rats. We should feel privileged to pay them to be their lab rats. They owe us nothing. If they occasionally show some of our listings, we should be grateful for the favor.

Yes that option to display more than 10 has been there for months now. No notification was given about that new option.

As a buyer, I find this new feature very annoying. I actually read the listing, so having to get through another screen that just regurgitates information I’ve already read to get to where I can actually fill out the question form is irritating and pointless. If I want to ask the seller a question, it’s because it’s about something that seller hasn’t put in the listing already! Ebay seems to be bent on making doing the most basic functions on their site as cumbersome and complicated as possible. How this enhances the buyer experience is beyond me. It certainly isn’t enhancing mine.

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