eBay held the third quarterly seller check in of the year on August 4th and once again, it's disappointing that eBay has decided only the main presentation will be available for replay, but not the breakout sessions.
As I've discussed previously, there is no technical reason they couldn't also record the break out sessions, they've just decided not to do so. Since they have multiple breakouts overlapping, and it's not possible to attend them all real time, I hope at some point eBay will consider making all content from seller check ins available for those who cannot attend real time.
The event ran into some technical difficulties, with some attendees not able to see the slide presentations or interact in the chat. eBay says they will be using a different platform to host the online portions of eBay Open next month.
Director Seller Community Rebecca Michals announced they will be doing an eBay Open Sneak Peek event on September 8th to preview what's coming up and provide users a chance to test out the new hosting platform before the event.
Welcome from Rebecca Michals - Director, Seller Community and Engagement
The seller check in started with Rebecca welcoming sellers and giving a basic rundown of the agenda and other housekeeping topics.
eBay Overview - Ashish Chhabra, Chief Revenue Officer
Ashish started out connecting with sellers by talking about items he's recently sold on the platform, including a handbag, some trading cards, and a used PS4.
He then went on to talk about his role at eBay, saying his team is there to make sure sellers have the tools they need to grow their businesses on eBay by helping to market and promoted our inventory, ensuring listings are prominent to buyers, providing access to capital, and maintaining a safe and trusted experience for all.
There was a lot of focus on the things eBay is doing to drive traffic to listings "at no extra cost" to sellers - possibly indicating they are feeling the heat over growing negative seller sentiment at increasing Promoted Listings ad rates.
Ashish also mentioned coded coupons and the Top Star buyer loyalty program as things eBay has done "recently" to help sellers drive traffic and sales - but both of those are over a year old now, which is hardly recent in most sellers' minds.
Also, since Top Star only includes sneakers and watches, it's questionable how much it's really helping the average seller across all categories on the platform.
Ashish then touched on the importance of using Promoted Listings and gave a brief overview of some of the working capital loan options eBay provides to sellers.
According to Ashish, creating a safe and trusted experience is "vital" to providing the best experience on eBay, but it's a very challenging space with policies and regulations always evolving.
There were no details in this section about possible upcoming policy changes, the message is simply that eBay is committed to treat sellers as partners, communicate policy updates, and build better predictability for us to operate our businesses on eBay - and above all, our feedback is very important to them.
It's a message that sellers have heard many times before, but many have yet to see it put into action.
Returns - Ian Bednowitz, Senior Director Protections
You might think having a Senior Director, Protections doing this segment would mean eBay would have some "good news for sellers" around increasing protections against buyer fraud and chargebacks - but unfortunately, eBay missed that opportunity.
Instead, Ian basically gave a Seller School 101 walk through of how returns work on eBay and seller protections that have been in place for years. Once interesting note is that eBay is apparently working on predictive approaches to flag potentially bad buyers - including gathering information from third party vendors to identify users who may have a history of bad behavior on other platforms.
Pandemic Silver Lining - Sucharita Kodali -VP Principal Analyst Forrester
Sucharita gave a very broad overview of what Forrester is seeing trending coming out of the pandemic and what a strong US dollar may mean for those who sell overseas or have access to purchase inventory from overseas.
And that was it - I thought the Summer Seller Check In was uneventful, but this one definitely beat it!
If there are any new and exciting updates "coming soon" it would appear eBay is saving them for eBay Open in September.