I’ve Purchased From You Before! – 3/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016


In this mini-series we’re learning what the top 5 features that buyers are missing on eBay are.

As you might already know I’m used to dealing with the other side of the table, the seller’s side of the table for multi-channel businesses. However, over the past 2 months or so I’ve really got back into hobby electronics and eBay being eBay, it’s a great choice to grab a whole variety of goodies.

The more I’ve refreshed myself with the buying side of eBay (+170 transactions in less than 2 months), the more I’ve realised there are several key features missing from eBay.

In part 1 we looked at the suggestion of adding a block sellers list, yesterday in part 2 we looked at search profiles to expedite the identification of listings that meet a buyer’s criteria and today, something else obvious is missing.

Wouldn’t you prefer to purchase from a seller that you’ve already had a good relationship with?

Hold that thought…

Indicating Sellers Whom You Have Purchased from Before

The Hidden eBay Customise your search options

The Hidden eBay “Customise your search” options

Let’s pause for a few moments to understand why such a feature is important from both a buyer’s perspective and also eBay’s too.

Starting with eBay’s perspective.

On eBay each transaction is performed between a seller and a buyer.

This expereince while as much as eBay would like to fit it into be “exactly the same for every purchase”. The reality is quite often very different due to the wide breadth of personal & business sellers that use eBay.

It’s an point that is rarely leveraged against other sites AKA amazon, where ni-on every transaction is a vanilla one (normally a very nice vanila one that arrives the same or next day!).

We have favourites

I know I have some personal favourite sellers on eBay whom I’ve purchased from a number of times, that’s probably true for you as well.

But on eBay you don’t see the seller ID in the search results unless you specifically turn that option on in the hidden “Customise your search” option.

Even if you find the option (which the average buyer won’t because it’s now hidden in a double menu), at best you can only show the eBay seller ID.

This doesn’t make it much easier to identify sellers you’ve purchased from before because you’re left to remember who you have bought from by their eBay ID and how many items are on a typical search results page?

Yea I think you’re seeing my point now.

Even if a buyer wanted to buy from the same seller again because one of the items in their new search results was from a seller they would like to reconsider, they’re left “on their tod” to do so.


Why not take standard search result from something like the image below (noting I have customised options already enabled).

Standard eBay search result

See the extra additional message indicating that a purchase has been previously been made from that seller.

Note: Obviously the red arrow is there to highlight the line ;-)

standard eBay search result - edited

A positive reinforcement that there is already a relationship between the buyer & seller has to encourage trust between both the buyer, the seller and also the relationship between eBay & the buyer.

So Simple

As with all the things we’re covering in this series, there is no requirement for an eBay seller to change anything they’re doing.

In the scheme of things on eBay, changes that require sellers to take (or not take) an action can take years to implement (because of the number of sellers and number of items available on eBay, take the product gallery image being used above as an example….).

However just like the suggestion above of showing whether the buyer has purchased from the seller previously with a line of text “You purchased an item from this seller on NN of YYYY” which would build a new level of trust between buyer & seller is simple to implement on eBay.

Personally if I was to implement this as eBay, despite doing the obvious of A/B testing the line for effectiveness, this could easily be kept as a “Top Rated Seller” feature to give a little extra back. But that’s just me!

What do you think about reminding customers that they have previously purchased from you in the search results?

  • Do you feel it would have a positive impact on your sales?
  • Would you like to see it as a global option for all sellers or just a “Top Rated Seller” thing?

Let me know in the comments box below.

As always, to your continued success,


Part 4 is Now Available!
You can read the next installment of this series here where we’ll be looking at answering the simple question “When will the item be with me?

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