eBay Hiring To Revamp Reviews & Feedback With Focus On Small Business Needs

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay is continuing their efforts to reinvent buyer and seller feedback on the platform with a new job posting for Lead Product Manager - Feedback & Trust, despite laying off ~1,000 employees just a few short weeks ago.

This role will be tasked with creating "the new vision on how feedback will work at eBay" - ideally looking to hire someone with experience building products for small businesses.

Lead Product Manager - Feedback & Trust in San Jose, California | Product Management at eBay
Apply for Lead Product Manager - Feedback & Trust job with eBay in San Jose, California. Product Management at eBay

The Lead Product Manager, Feedback & Trust will create the new vision on how feedback will work at eBay. Like to challenge the status quo? We do! We're looking for an innovative colleague who can articulate a strong vision and wants to try new things!

EXPERIENCE LEADING VISION, STRATEGY, AND EXECUTION OF REVIEWS & RATINGS OR TRUST IS A HUGE PLUS

Responsibilities:

  • Become an expert on buyer and seller needs through planned discovery and self learning – particularly in how trust is gained through the user journey
  • Work with analytics, design and engineering teams to build products as well as internal stakeholders
  • Work cross-functionally to guide products from conception to launch by connecting the technical, user and business worlds
  • Drive a comprehensive roadmap to deliver high quality feature improvements and new products that provide value to our buyers and sellers
  • Deliver on the most effective set of product solutions and go-to-market strategy for eBay customers and sellers
  • Understand and synthesize data to make informed decisions and monitor change performance

Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of industry experience in product management or a related role
  • Relevant experience building trust in a marketplace
  • Experience working on frontend/ UI products and working closely with analytics and design teams and iterating based on user feedback and behavior. Ideally you have built products for small businesses
  • History of building strong relationships with engineering, business partners, and operational users
  • Work with the larger cross-functional team to define the product strategy, business strategy, operation plan and detailed roadmap
  • Experience in Agile/Scrum methodologies and working in Agile teams is desirable
  • Proficiency in basic data analysis - ie able to work with analytics partners to determine what tracking is needed, how the results will be reported, etc.

eBay has already embarked on several initiatives to revamp feedback in the last few months, garnering mixed reactions from users.

While sellers responded positively to news that eBay will be displaying feedback responses in more places across the site, they have been less pleased with changes to display "most relevant" feedback by default instead of most recent and particularly concerned about buyers being allowed to post publicly viewable images with their feedback comments.

eBay Feedback With Pictures Now Publicly Visible To Buyers
eBay continues to rollout feedback changes, allowing buyers to add publicly viewable pictures with feedback left for sellers.

Users were also perplexed by the sudden appearance of "Verified Purchase" labels displayed on feedback, questioning what verified actually means since feedback on eBay has historically been between buyers and sellers, not a product review, so it would stand to reason most feedback would automatically be for a verified purchase.

eBay Feedback Shows Verified Purchases - But What Does Verified Mean?
Sellers spotted another change to eBay feedback pages today with test showing “Verified Purchase” for transactions that received feedback.

Some of these changes have raised seller concern that eBay is heading more toward an Amazon-style feedback and review system.

Feedback - Verified purchase
Today under the feedback I am now seeing “Verified purchase” after every transaction. In both the Received as Buyer and Received as Seller sections. Is this a new feature? What is the purpose of putting it in the feedback? I suppose its a good thing for fraudulent concerns, but it doesnt seem like t…

I noticed it this morning and had the same question as you. This isn't the 90s where you could leave FB for anybody. You have to be in a transaction to leave FB for a buyer or seller. Adding 'verified purchase' seems pretty pointless to me when it appears on every single FB.

FB isn't a product review where 'verified purchase' has more relevance (though eBay does seem to be pushing in that direction).

I’ll go a step further and say Amazon also allows anyone to leave a review for any item, even if you’ve never purchased it before. That’s why they have a “verified purchase” badge so people know that person never bought or did actually buy the item from Amazon. Their logic is that the person could have bought the exact same thing from like Target and just want to leave a good (or bad) review of the item in Amazon.

But we all know eBay doesn’t allow this and having that badge is redundant and useless. Are they just trying to fill out the feedback page with noise? If so, they should also add “account ID screen name created by member when they registered” right under their screen name and “feedback comment and testimony written by member when they left the feedback” under the feedback comment. Maybe even add each member’s avatar next to the screen name of each feedback accompanied with “Profile pic uploaded by member” description. That should do it.

Seriously I wouldn’t argue it if they’d add and bring back the exact time stamp shown for each feedback tho.

It's an attempt to copy Amazon, IMHO. I don't see any other purpose to it. Maybe their rationale is that buyers expect to see that, since other sites (well, Amazon anyway) are already showing it.

Could the specific request for someone with experience in creating products for small businesses mean eBay is actually listening to this feedback and working to make sure the voices and needs of smaller sellers on the platform are included?

One legacy challenge this new product manager must face is the fact that eBay somewhat uniquely allows both buyers and sellers to leave feedback about a transaction, which can muddy the rating waters and provide convenient ways for bad actors to artificially inflate their numbers in an effort to appear more legitimate.

Fraudsters often compromise dormant buyer accounts and use them to create fake listings for hot items like trading cards or luxury watches.

In cases like this, the fact that eBay will show old feedback received on transactions where that account was the buyer is not only irrelevant, it also lends undue credibility that may trick consumer-buyers into falsely trusting this account when it is presenting itself as a seller.

Even worse, bad actors don't have to go so far as to compromise an account in order to manipulate feedback - they can simply purchase a handful of cheap trinkets or digital items to quickly build up dozens of positives as a buyer to artificially present themselves as a trusted user.

While savvy users will know how to navigate to the full feedback profile page where they can filter to only feedback received as a buyer or feedback received as a seller, newer consumer-buyers may not be aware of this option, especially since it is not offered in every place where feedback may be shown.

For instance, when viewing a seller's store page, the feedback is commingled with no designation as to whether this account was the buyer or seller in the transaction - you would have to click through to "see all feedback" in order to have the option to filter.

Even once you go to the full feedback profile page, the default is to show all feedback received, with the user having to purposely select individual tabs if they want to see buyer and seller feedback split out separately.

As unsuckEBAY appropriately called out in his 2022 response above, eBay should only disclose the feedback that is relevant to a potential buyer to avoid confusion.

When asked his current thoughts on what eBay can do to improve the feedback experience, unsuckEBAY said "Amongst the top priorities should be to separate seller vs buyer feedback. Without that simple change, it's challenging for any feedback system to fully ensure its integrity."

It appears eBay is at least attempting to move in that direction, with the feedback module shown on the actual listing page specifically only showing feedback that has been received by that account as a seller.

When you click through to "see all feedback" from here, it also helpfully defaults to the "received as a seller" tab to show only the 38 relevant ratings rather than all 79 received as buyer or seller mixed together.

It would make sense for eBay to implement this same design for the Store view as well, since it's likely users browsing a store page are doing so as a potential buyer and would benefit from clear feedback differentiation in this view just as on the listing page.

Making that small change would increase trust and integrity in the feedback system, not to mention provide a more consistent user experience across the board.

What are your top suggestions for the eventual lucky new hire who will lead eBay's Feedback and Trust product initiatives? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!