Sellers are alarmed to find eBay's latest test of a new View Item page design has moved their descriptions to a separate tab on the page, requiring buyers to take additional action to see important seller-provided item details.
I just sold something. I went to go look at the listing and it looks different.
The page defaults to item specifics and does not show the description at all.
You have to click on "description" to see the description.
Is this something new? I don't like it. As a matter of fact, I hate it.
All day today the item pages looked like they normally have looked, then suddenly tonight I start seeing a new format and I agree with you...I absolutely HATE it! They must be trying it out on some users. It is a HUGE mistake to not bring up the description on that initial page!!! All they will see is the item specifics and they will need to click on a separate description tab to see any description you went through the effort to enter.
It's hard enough to get buyers to read the description and now they won't even see there is a description that may have critically important information unless they go through that extra step. Get ready for INAD claims!!!
And to prove the point that these sellers' concerns are not overblown - some say the description has "disappeared" and they cannot find it at all, possibly because the new tab blends in and is easy to miss.
I'm looking at my newly listed items and I can't find the description of the item I wrote in? Does anyone know how I can fix this?
Here's what buyers are seeing:
Similar to the previous tests of the new View Item experience, the main image has been made larger and the seller details are shown prominently on the side.
However, now instead of having one tab with Item Specifics and Seller Description listed vertically, eBay has moved the description to a separate tab and defaults to only showing the Item Specifics.
The buyer must then click the next tab over to see the description:
And the next tab over from that to see shipping, returns, and payment information.
Compare that to the previous experience where only the shipping, returns, and payment info was in a separate tab.
eBay announced they would be redesigning the View Item page back in March and were immediately met with cheers from sellers as they promised to "Bring critical information like Item specifics and seller description higher up on the page before any modules that show other items & ads."
Sellers were dismayed when the first round of testing did not move the item specifics and description above ad modules, believing eBay had reneged on that promise.
In response to seller outrage, eBay confirmed their commitment to put the item specifics and seller description above ad modules. They have technically adhered to that promise with this latest test, but at the expense of having the description immediately visible on the page without having to click to a different tab.
That's more than a little disingenuous and not likely to escape sellers' ire as it was definitely not what they believed eBay meant when they said they were going to move the description above ads.
eBay has tested various designs that would hide descriptions behind "show more" or "click to view description" buttons in the past and were soundly rebuked for the practice - they are likely to find similar pushback to this new scheme of hiding the description in a different tab.
eBay may have backed themselves into a bit of a corner with this new design.
On one hand, they have made a commitment to sellers to address long-standing concerns about how disruptive it is to have competitor advertising shown above the seller-provided listing details.
On the other hand, recent testing they have done seems to have shown that high visibility ad placements as close to "above the fold" as possible drive more conversion and, therefore, more ad revenue for eBay.
Leaving the Item Specifics and Description together vertically as the default view while also fulfilling their promise of moving the ads below that module could potentially push those ads much further down the page (especially for items with long descriptions).
Given how important ad revenue is to eBay's quarterly financial reports, it's very unlikely they will be willing to take the hit to ad revenue that could ensue if buyers simply never scroll down far enough to see ads on the listing page.
So it would seem sellers may end up in a "heads eBay wins, tails sellers lose" scenario where they must either continue to have disruptive competitor ads above their descriptions or risk facing increased "not as described" claims and returns because their descriptions have been moved a click away in a separate tab.
That is not an acceptable sacrifice to require sellers to make and while it may technically fulfill the commitment made in the New View Item Page design announcement, eBay can and must do better.
What do you think of this latest eBay View Item Page design test? Let us know in the comments below!