eBay Watch: View Item Page Tests Making Sellers Testy
eBay and Online Marketplace NewsIssues with View Item Page Tests Addressed
The auction company is currently testing a new View Item page, though no formal announcement was made, it's already generating lots of discussion among sellers. In a recent Chatter blog posting, Subha Shetty and Scott Loper of eBay's Buyer Team, say, "Right now we are in the very initial phase of testing, as we mentioned. We'll be gathering data and community input for quite some time. While any broad launch is still several months away, we'll be sure to update the Community as the project evolves."
|» The Auction Giant Giveth, Taketh Away|
- Question: Some items viewed through the new item page contain a red warning message in the Meet the Seller section indicating the Seller has a low Detailed Seller Rating (DSR rating.) What is the purpose? This is especially confusing when the Seller has 4 stars.
- Answer: The purpose of the message is to indicate to buyers when the seller has a very low DSR score compared to all other eBay sellers. This happens a small percentage of the time, and only the lowest performing sellers are flagged. Some sellers may notice they get flagged when their DSR shows 4.1 out of 5, for example. This is because a 4.1 score is actually very low compared to other sellers. We've seen the comments from members, and we realize this may seem counter-intuitive based on how the stars are represented when a buyer leaves feedback (e.g. Shipping time, 4 = "quickly"). However, it's important to note this is a relative ranking. The overall goal is to reduce the number of bad buying experiences, the bulk of which are caused by sellers with the lowest DSRs.
- Question: Why are items from other sellers being promoted on a seller's listing? Can sellers opt out of this?
- Answer: There's a lot of confusion and concern about this on the forums, so we're glad to get the chance to clarify. There are two separate issues here:
- Currently, on closed items that have already ended, we do show two rows of similar items from other sellers. We do not show these two rows on active listings, though some people have been a bit confused about this. Actually, this is similar to the merchandising we do today on completed listings.
- There's a new "Related Items tab," and from there, we do show similar items from the item's seller and other sellers. We use logic to determine which items to show based on a number of variables. Having a wider selection to choose from means a higher chance of showing relevant items, and consequently a better buying experience.
Currently, there is no ability to opt-out in the test. This type of merchandising is something online shoppers have come to expect, although we understand this is a critical area and we need to do it carefully. Sellers should keep in mind that their items are also appearing on other sellers' listings, so everyone is getting an increase in potential exposure.
Extension Lacking Attention?
The eBay community seems to be at odds over whether to tack on another week to the boycott, originally scheduled to end last Monday. Avid proponents buoyed by the media coverage are calling for the extra days, but there's an obvious lack of momentum in postings and discussions at pro-strike sites and boards. As it appears now, the extension will likely fizzle out over the course of the next few days.
Tips for Improving Your DSR
EBay's Community Development team recently held an online workshop on the topic of Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR) scores and how to improve them. Some tips offered by the eBay representatives included being sure that as a seller you offer a competitive shipping price. Sellers should research the shipping costs that potential buyers would see on other Web sites selling similar items, the eBay reps said. Sellers can also keep up with the competition by studying the shipping practices used by other vendors with high DSR scores in their item category.
Another feature influencing DSR is the new Best Match system. Beginning in March, the Best Match search, which includes seller performance factors, will become the default sort in search and browse throughout eBay. This means searching eBay will give an advantage to sellers with high levels of customer satisfaction, which is a 4.6 DSR score and above, by providing those sellers with increased exposure in searches. Sellers with more than 5 percent dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days, will decrease in exposure as will those sellers with a Shipping & Handling Charge Detailed Seller Ratings of 4.2 and lower. EBay's Seller Central offers a FAQ and more tips on how sellers can better their overall DSR score.
New Version of eBay Desktop
EBay recently launched version 1.0 of the eBay Desktop, a desktop application that provides an alternative to using the eBay Web site to search, browse, bid, track auctions and more. The new version 1.0 release offers users plenty of bug fixes, performance enhancements, and also new features. It can be freely downloaded from the eBay Desktop Web site.
Seller Starts His Own Auction Site
EBay seller David Hoffman says he has been a member of eBay since 2000 and also a PowerSeller for the past year. But, with eBay's recent fee and feedback changes, Hoffman joined the boycott last week and went a step further, launching his own auction site. Called NeoLoch, the site is still in the early stage of recruiting sellers and buyers. Hoffman said that he had been considering his own auction site for some time now and eBay's recent policy changes are what finalized that decision.
Just three-days old, the site is hovering around 80 registered users and 50 online auctions. We'll keep you updated on NeoLoch's progress in future editions of our eBay Watch in the "Eye on The Little Guy" profiles (see our most recent EBay Alternatives coverage).(Continue to Page 2 for Tools Roundup and eBay Pulse Data)
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