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When will the item be with me? – 4/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016

When will the item be with me?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, in part 2 we looked at search profiles to expedite the identification of listings, in part 3 yesterday we looked at reminding customers that they’ve purchased from you before.

Today we’re looking at the second most important question running through a buyer’s head. When will their order be with them?

To be able to answer this fundamental question for us as buyers on eBay, we’ll be looking at the possibility of adding a search filter that allows a buyer to refine their search based upon the delivery ETA of the listing to the buyer.

Oh and this single filter would slam location abuse on eBay overnight.

Read on to find out more.

When Will the Item you Ordered be With You?

For me this is the most glaringly-obvious search filter that is missing on eBay.

This filter would solve overnight the issue of non-UK (or insert your country here) sellers masquerading as local businesses with the old eBay chestnut of “location abuse”.

As a buyer I’d like to be able to refine my search results by the delivery ETA.

For example, today is Friday 25th March.

I’d like to be able to refine my search results on eBay for only products that can be delivered between the now and Tuesday 29th March.

So a “Delivery ETA of 2 days” filter option.

As part of this search filter I’d like to select whether this ETA includes the seller’s standard shipping or whether it includes an upgraded shipping option, e.g. a courier or not.

A slider bar to choose a delivery date range would be a good way of keeping it simple for customers, similarly the option of selecting options such as these would expedite the purchasing process for us as buyers:

  • “Delivery within 2 working days”,
  • “Delivery within 3 working days”
  • “Delivery within 2 working days & include seller’s expedited option”.

Such filters could easily be combined with the search profiles we looked at yesterday. If you missed that article, you can read it here.

As I mentioned above, this would slam non-UK based products from my search results as a customer.

Having a filter like this would save me as a customer ages & ages filtering out which items can actually be with me in a sensible period of time. Save me from using 10 or more browser tabs, all because I “want it now” (or as soon as possible).

Below is a screenshot of the top 3 items for a random search of “Dyson nozzle” with “But it Now” selected.

From those 3 listings, ask yourself the question: “If you ordered them right now, when would they be with you?”

eBay dyson nozzle search results no delivery eta

As a buyer you are unable to find out when the product(s) will be with you.

Well unless of course you click into or open each listing in a new browser tab.

My point here is simple:

Why should buyers have to do this all the time?

It doesn’t make the buying expereince on eBay as good as what it should be (my point for this entire series).

I, as you probably appreciate too, keeping details on the eBay search pages down to a minimum is a good idea, however this is eBay we’re discussing here and as we all know the shipping options & delivery times between just one seller can vary, let alone 3 or millions of them.

At a minimum buyer’s need to have an idea on when the products can be with them at a birds-eye-view (and not open 20 squillion tabs!).

Oh look, the image below, after clicking into the listing I can now see the delivery ETA. The data is available….

[sarcasm mode]I only have to do that how many times as a buyer? Oh everytime…[/sarcasm mode]

eBay listing shipping eta

eBay Orders are Always Late

Despite the efforts made on eBay showing estimated delivery ETA’s, besides a few rare exceptions, ni-on every order I’ve made on eBay has been late.

Note: The delivery ETA isn’t always shown on eBay listings from the search results page (more on that in a moment), instead you have to go into the listing to find out when, thus when shopping on eBay having 10 or 20 browser tabs open is the norm. This should not be the norm.

To clarify what I mean by “late” here, “late” means it has been extremely unlikely an order I’ve personally made on eBay is with me the next working day, rarely within 2 working days and more like 3-4 days.

The more this happens, the more frustrating it becomes when buying on eBay.

Note: My reference here is Amazon, same or next day delivery 99.9% of the time. And of course I’m not considering orders made from outside the UK in this “lateness” either, they’re always going to take a while. I appreciated that when I made the purchase.

To be fair, sometimes you do get an indication of a delivery ETA from the search results on eBay.

But not always and never 100% of the time.

Take the screenshot below for the keyword “tent” on eBay.co.uk (BIN listings only).  5 out of 25 listings show a delivery ETA.

The rest as a buyer, we’re left guessing (or rather clicking).

Inconsistant eBay delivery ETAs in the search results

When Will the Product be With Me?

MailboxesSuch a simple question when you think about it.

On eBay the vast majority of the time as a buyer we’ve got to open up multiple listings to then make a choice.

Why not consistently show the delivery ETA from the search results pages and give buyers the ability to make an informed decision before even clicking into the listing or opening up another bastard web browser tab?

Adding a search filter for buyers to refine their searches to include delivery ETA would also slam the location abuse issue that has plagued eBay globally for years instantly.

Let’s face it, having to open up 10 or more browser tabs to look at a handful of items on eBay is laborious.

It’s not how online shopping should be. 

And crucially it’s not what buyers (your buyers) should be expected to do everytime they go shopping on eBay.

Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you make of the idea of having a search filter option like this available.

  • What do you think of buyers having a search option like this being made available to them on eBay?
  • Would it help you as a customer on eBay?
  • Would you find having the delivery ETA consistently on all eBay listings in the search results helpful to your business?

Let me know in the comments section below.

As always to your continued success,

Matt

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.