As 2021 draws to a close, take a look back at some notable new features and tools eBay announced this year and check in on their status with the eBay Release Tracker.
New Promoted Listings advertising options were obviously a high priority this year. With some of the shortest timeframes from announcement to launch, Promoted Listings Advanced and Express were both completed on time - clearly showing that eBay considered it a high priority to deliver on new forms of paid advertising to help bolster their quarterly revenue and growth goals.
Another interesting observation is how many new features and tools were announced and completed in the first half of the year vs the second. Ex-VP of Seller Experience Harry Temkin announced his departure at the end of the June seller check in. While eBay never gave an exact date, it's safe to assume he was gone by sometime in July since he went back to his old job at Drivewealth in August.
Harry was responsible for the product and technology eBay provides to sellers. No direct replacement was ever announced and it appears eBay may have simply split up some of the key aspects of his role and passed them off to other existing departments.
While it's difficult to say exactly how much of an effect losing Harry has had on eBay, it's quite noticeable that eBay had a fairly steady pace of introducing new tools and features that were delivered on time in the first half of the year, but since August that has fallen off sharply with many still in "pending" stages or even worse, months overdue past their promised launch dates.
Listing Quality Report
PDF/CSV versions of report and ability to select categories - September 2021. Status: Overdue
As part of the Fall 2021 Seller Update, eBay said the following new features would be available in September but they have still not been released and eBay has provided no updates.
This month, the Listing Quality Report will be available to download in three formats:
A PDF “one-page summary”
An Excel “full report” with one tab per category
A CSV “raw data” file, to be exported for further analysis
In the past, you could see the analysis of your 10 categories with the most live listings. You’ll now be in control of which categories will show up in the report. You’ll also have the option to keep the existing analysis, using the top 10 categories with the most live listings.
Terapeak Sourcing Insights
Initial rollout April 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Added top categories September 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Integration with eBay Motors April 2021 - status: overdue.
Despite eBay calling this feature a "done deal", Terapeak Sourcing Insights still does not work correctly for eBay Motors categories. While integration with eBay Motors was never called out as a separate deliverable by eBay, I've added it to the list simply because it hasn't worked since day one and eBay has done nothing to fix it.
Hopefully eBay gets this issue figured out now that Motors Parts & Accessories is going to be the next big category to get the vertical focus treatment.
Initial rollout May 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Send coupons with offers August 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Send coupons to buyer groups October 2021 - status: overdue.
Another unfilled promise from the Fall 2021 seller update, part of this functionality should have been available in October and the rest should have been "in the next few months" - while that is a vague timeframe, considering we are 3 months down the road from this announcement with none of these features available and no update on a release, I think it's fair to call it overdue.
Sending coded coupons to buyer groups is an easy way for you to encourage existing and potential customers to purchase your items. For example, use coded coupons to target specific buyer groups when your seasonal inventory has the greatest potential to sell.
The following coded coupons options will be available starting in October.
Launching in October:
- Send a coded coupon to your previous buyers to encourage repeat business
Launching in the next few months:
- Send a coded coupon to your followers on eBay
- Send a coded coupon to eligible buyers who have expressed an interest in the type of inventory you sell
Scan To List Trading Cards
Initial rollout with Magic The Gathering cards April 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Addition of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards May 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Addition of sports trading cards - status: pending.
When eBay initially announced this feature in April, they said they had plans to expand it to sports cards "in the future." Since there has been no official date set, I've set this as pending, though there has been no update and it remains to be seen whether this expansion will ever happen.
Video In Listings
Phase 1 rollout to sellers using API/select 3rd party partners app only April-June 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Expand to all sellers - no timeframe given - status: pending.
Launched on eBay UK May 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Launched on eBay US July 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Add additional categories for eBay UK September 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Add additional categories for eBay US - no timeframe - status: pending.
New Stores Experience
Phase 1 new look/design, newsletter upgrade August 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Add marketing banner, inventory module and policy module October 2021 - status: completed, on time.
About video - promised in October, delivered end of November 2021 - status: completed, overdue.
Newsletter signup link in About tab - promised in October, still not available - status: overdue.
Price Guide & Collections For Trading Cards
Initial rollout August 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Use Scan to List function to add cards to collection - no timeframe - status: pending.
Add additional price guide filters for grade & other item specifics - no timeframe - status: pending.
Social Sharing Discounted Final Value Fees
Announced August 2021 - no timeframe given - status: pending.
Tom Pinckney, VP of eBay Stores, announced at eBay Open Online eBay will be adding a social media marketing incentive that will discount the final value fee to 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction when buyers buy from your social media posts. However, nothing else has been announced about this feature and eBay has been very tightlipped about it.
Since no timeframe was given, this one has also been marked as pending although it appears to be on a backburner and remains to be seen if it will ever be released.
Immediate Pay On Offers
Announced at eBay Open August 2021
Beta test/phased rollout involving limited number of buyers started October 2021 - status: work in progress.
Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click Ads
Phase 1 available to sellers using eBay API/Select 3rd Party Partners June - July 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Expand access to all qualified sellers through Seller Hub August - September 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Promoted Listings Express for Auctions
Phase 1 in app only, available to casual/consumer sellers June - September 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Expand access to all qualified sellers, still in app only October 2021 - status: completed, on time.
Expand access to desktop Seller Hub listing flow experience December 2021 - status: completed, no timeframe given.
Are there features or tools I missed for 2021 or new ones you're looking forward to in 2022? Let me know in the comments below!