As previously announced, eBay is moving to a quarterly schedule for seller check ins, rather than the roughly monthly schedule they had last year.
Sellers were disappointed when the previous seller check in for December was not available for replay. eBay claimed it was due to not being able to record events through their chosen platform, Bevy, but we found that wasn't entirely true.
It was nice to see the main part of the event this time was live and was being recorded - eBay says it will be available for replay sometime this week. However, given what I uncovered about Bevy's capabilities, there is no reason eBay couldn't also record the breakout sessions.
Since they have multiple breakouts overlapping, and it's not possible to attend them all real time, it would certainly be in the best interest of positive seller engagement to make all content from seller check ins available in the future.
Company Updates and Announcements - Andrea Stairs, CMO & VP Seller Community
Andrea started out with an announcement about how eBay stands with Ukraine, basically just recapping previous announcements about protections and charitable opportunities.
1099-Ks - unfortunately Andrea offered absolutely zero in depth or helpful information on this very important topic.
This was just a simple overview of links to find more information about 1099-ks on eBay, there was no mention of the many 1099-k issues that occurred this year and in fact Andrea pointed sellers to the eBay for Business podcast on the subject, which actually included some incorrect information. 🤦♀️
Andrea's main focus was to brief sellers on what had been revealed earlier in the day at the Investor Day event.
eBay Vault - Andrea gave a brief overview of the eBay Vault, a 31 thousand square foot, secure storage facility and digital marketplace for trading cards and collectibles coming next quarter.
Live Commerce - eBay says they will be piloting live streaming video commerce soon. I'm not going to hold my breath - they are already struggling with the current video offerings, experiencing serious delays and several listing tool glitches caused by the increased load.
It would take no less than a tech led reimagination to pull off live streaming commerce and eBay just isn't there yet.
At least they are maybe starting to understand the value of bringing social commerce efforts in house and I have to believe the vast majority of eBay sellers could do better than the "hired talent" eBay used for their Certified Refurbished livestream event in December.
eBay Wallet - As predicted, eBay announced they will be launching a digital wallet in Q2 2022 to allow the use of "spendable funds" that will be available "almost immediately" for purchases and to pay seller fees.
This month eBay will roll out options for additional payout schedules - adding on bi-weekly and monthly to the current daily and weekly options. Later this year, there will be an on demand option to have available funds sent directly to a debit card within 30 minutes....for a fee (as yet undisclosed).
Important note - based on a slide from Julie Loeger's Investor Day presentation, on demand withdrawals will be disabled if you choose the daily payout option.
And finally, Andrea welcomed VP Product Engineering Mark Weinberg who will also now be leading Seller Experience, finally officially announcing a replacement for Harry Temkin, who left last June.
Mark gave a bit of an intro presentation - more info 👇
New Messages Experience - Senior Product Manager Melissa Mehar
eBay is rolling out a new messaging experience that will work much more like social media or text messaging than the previous "email" style system.
Unfortunately, the rollout doesn't seem to be going smoothly - there have been multiple errors and glitches seen in messages in the last week, likely due to the changes being made to the system
Feedback - Yutika Agarwal Senior Product Manager
eBay is also changing the feedback experience, specifically highlighting functionality that will prompt buyers to contact seller before leaving negative feedback.
Other changes to feedback were announced in the Winter Seller Update.
Selling Manager Pro - David Bernstein Lead Product Manager
David tackled Selling Manager Pro features that are now available to all sellers.
I'll be honest, I've pretty much always had a store subscription that includes these features, so I'm not sure how important these feature are to sellers who haven't' had access before. If that's you - let me know what you think about Selling Manager Pro in the comments below!
Listing Flow - Vivian Gledhill Manager, Product Management
Vivian discussed the new listing flow, but mainly focused on a demo of adding video to listings.
Closing - Rebecca Michals Director Community & Engagement
Rebecca closed out with an announcement that eBay is (once again) rebuilding their educational materials, this time rebranding Seller School as Seller Academy.
Rebecca's final comment about the eBay community caught my ear.
I want to end by reaffirming that our community is a great place to connect with other sellers, to connect with customer support people from eBay every Wednesday at the Wednesday chat.
You also can talk with experienced sellers who volunteer and help in our community specifically to answer questions by other sellers. It's a really great place to get this kind of back and forth advice and guidance from each other and again from eBay experts who drop into the community and we do have customer support folks there as well.
The fact that she twice mentioned specifically connecting with customer support via the community is really interesting. It has long been a source of frustration for community members that the eBay employees there are not considered official customer support, say they cannot address or assist with account specific issues, and in general are not empowered to do anything more than "pass that on to the appropriate team."
In fact, the About Community page even explicitly states "eBay cannot provide direct customer support to you via these boards." Is the Director of Community just completely unaware of this?
I also attended the breakout session for Stores and Advertising and will be doing a separate post on that soon - stay tuned!
While there was no mention in any of the presentations about the 2.5% FVF social sharing incentive, I asked about it in the chat and VP Stores Tom Pinckney said:
It's coming soon. It's going into a limited release in AU. As they say, that took longer than expected. 🙂
So keep an eye out for that too!
What did you think of the eBay Spring Seller Check In? Do you prefer the longer format done quarterly or would you have liked to see them continue with monthly? Let us know in the comments below!