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

Howdy,

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.

Soo………………..

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,

Matt

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?

Default Search Filter Options – 2/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016

Howdy,

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 yesterdays part 1 we looked at the suggestion of adding a block sellers list that you can read about here.

And in today’s part we’ll be looking at the idea of adding in the ability for buyers to set their own search filter options.

Let’s find out more about these filter (because searching on eBay feels like looking at the stars for a a rock, 3 orbits away from a star at times).

eBay Search Options

Default Search Filter Options

When it comes to purchasing on eBay, I have two modes of purchasing:

  1. The item I want I have no urgency for, so a global search based upon price is a priority to me
  2. I want the item in 2-3 days tops, I only want UK based sellers who can deliver in that time frame

Also I’d rather purchase from a business who I have previously bought from (this is a hint at what tomorrow’s feature is going to be).

And to face the truth on profile #2, price is important because I’m looking on eBay for it to be cheaper than Amazon, because if it’s on Amazon & available via Amazon Prime I could have next day and probably buy there instead.

But eBay doesn’t sport any ability for me to have default search options.

I have to set these manually each time and for #2 the ability to filter on a delivery is missing (and another hint at what a later feature in this series is going to be).

So the ability for me to save a profile such as these two would save me time in refining eBay search results.

For example:

Profile #1 – Anywhere, cheapest first

This would be for an item that I have no urgency for. I’m willing to wait a while because the item will be most likely cheaper.

The search profile would have the following options available & set for me:

  1. Sort order “Lowest price + P&P”
  2. Format: “Buy it Now”
  3. Condition “New” or “New other”

Profile #2 – I want it now

In this instance I certainly don’t want any international sellers outside my country, nor do I want any Chinese sellers masquerading as a local seller either.

So a filter with these options would greatly expedite the purchasing process:

  1. Item location “UK Only”
  2. Sort order: “Best Match”
  3. Format: “Buy it Now”
  4. Condition “New” or “New other”

There is a 5th option I’d like to set for this filter as well, I’ll cover this in tomorrow’s eBay missing buying feature, but for now having to set these 4 options every time is annoying.

I’d rather just have to select a profile at the top and these options to be applied immediately for me.

Faster Finding Through Profiles

There was a time when having to “hunt” for products on eBay was fun.

Now it’s just time consuming and not fun.

This issue of time consumption is especially important when you consider that there are so many other alternatives out there for buyers that offer similar, cheaper or better services when compared to the overall eBay expereince.

For example:

Amazon
Same or next day delivery, amazing customer support, a reviews system that works & no-hassle returns

Aliexpress
Cheaper & just-as-fast delivery as buying from Chinese eBay sellers

Banggood
Moderate shipping times, but around ~20% cheaper for specialist products when compared to eBay

And that’s made me realise that I’ve missed out another sort option.

The option to sort by “number of orders”.

On Aliexpress this is my most-used feature.

You can sort the search results by the number of orders a listing has had.

Take a look at the screenshot below. I’ve highlighted the filter by number of orders option and where this appears next to each listing.

Now consider that there are over 7 pages just for the search term “CC3D”.

I’ve just saved myself the time of working out which boards are the popular ones. I can make the simple choice of buying both the distribution power board (the black board) and the flight controller (the 2nd item) because those two listings have naturally pushed themselves to the top through the number of orders made.

Aliexpress Search by order Count

Side Note:

I didn’t actually buy those components from Aliexpress, instead I elected for a kit from Banggood at almost £60 (that’s 445% more!) because they sent the kit to a chap on YouTube who I follow and he’s detailed the whole kit over 5-6 video tutorials (see here).

Something I’ve never seen eBay do for any products.

Getting back onto topic.

In Summary – Finding products on eBay is laborious

The rest of the world has caught up with eBay’s “Best Match” and exceeded it.

Every buyer’s requirements is going to be slightly different, when I’ve come across this challenge in multi-channel software tools, the simplest option has always been to create templates or profiles.

Let the user select what they want and then wrap it up in a bundle that can be quickly used and quickly tweaked.

In this case a search profile which contains the things that are important to me depending on my personal requirements and then show me the results that match.

So what’s your thoughts?

  • Is “Best Match” on eBay not really living up to your expectations as a buyer? (Not a seller!! We all know we’d like to abuse it from a seller’s perspective ;-) )
  • Would search profiles help you find products more quickly on eBay?
  • Is there a search filter you feel we’re missing? If so what is it?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

As always, to your continued success,

Matt

Part 3 Available!
You can read part 3 of this mini-series where we explore what impact reminding buyers that “I’ve Purchased From You Before!” would have on eBay here.