Value Added Resource Week In Review 6-18-23

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Welcome to the Value Added Resource ecommerce news week in review!

eBay News

eBay experienced several major technical issues this week impacting search, ability to print shipping labels and other site functionality.

All searches on the site showed zero results and stores showed no listings available for several hours on Wednesday as a massive outage completely broke the site.

eBay Search Broken 0 Results 6-14-2023
eBay search once again completely broken, showing zero results when there should be thousands.

While critical site infrastructure continues to falter, Chief Technology Officer Mazen Rawashdeh and other execs have been pumping up eBay's magical AI plans for the future - perhaps it's time to re-visit Elliott Management's 2019 Enhancing eBay plan?

eBay Execs Push AI As Critical Site Functionality Falters
eBay execs make media rounds promoting AI efforts, while critical basic site functionality continues to break down.

Speaking of AI, eBay Germany is testing AI shopping personalization and discovery for laptops, tvs and smartphones in partnership with Zoovu.

The feature works well enough for what it is, but the fixed input options lack the fun and engagement of conversational ChatGPT powered shopping assistants that competitors like Shopify and Mercari have developed.

eBay Germany & Zoovu Partner On AI Shopping Personalization tests AI shopping discovery personalization for laptops, tvs & smartphones in partnership with Zoovu.

VP Seller Experience Engineering Bryan Woodruff stopped by the eBay community this week to provide an update on the ChatGPT description generator that had been launched and then quickly removed from the eBay Android app.

eBay ChatGPT AI Feature Fails, Removed Days After Launch
eBay’s ChatGPT AI description generator not ready for prime time & pulled from production just days after launch.

Apparently the issue wasn't a premature, not ready for primetime launch but instead an untested, buggy update that exposed a broken user experience...and we're supposed to believe that's better?

eBay is expanding the beta test for Promoted Display Ads for Stores  - here's what you need to know!

eBay Expands Promoted Display Ads For Stores Beta Test
eBay expands Promoted Display Ads for Stores beta to more sellers as pressure to increase ad revenue grows.

The Immediate Payment For Offers requirement is expanding to more accounts but buyers are balking at being forced to enter payment details upfront.

Buyers Balk As eBay Expands Immediate Payment For Offers
eBay expands Immediate Payment For Offers, but buyers are balking at entering payment info to make offers.

eBay is cracking down on trading card case or box breaks and will only allow pre-approved sellers in these categories, effective July 18th.

eBay Cracks Down On Trading Card Breaks, Limiting To Pre-Approved Sellers
eBay is cracking down on trading card case & box breaks, will only allow pre-approved sellers as of July 18.

After weeks of silence while sellers pushed for answers, eBay bowed to the pressure and made a statement confirming they are still testing the new View Item page and still intend to move the item specifics and description above ad modules in the final design.

eBay Reneges On Ad Placement Promise In New Item Page Design
As eBay unveils new View Item page design, Promoted Listings ads still display above seller’s description & item specifics.

Amazon News

Amazon also suffered a major outage this week that affected Seller Central, Account Health, Shipping and other marketplace features and had wide-ranging impacts across the web as many companies rely on Amazon Web Services for a variety of functionality.

Amazon Seller Central, Account Health, Shipping Down 6-13-23
Amazon experiencing server outage impacting multiple areas of Seller Central, Account Health, Shipping & more

Seller Fulfilled Prime is reopening enrollment after previous pause due to issues with sellers "not providing the high quality experience customers expect from Prime."

Amazon To Reopen Seller Fulfilled Prime Enrollment 2023
Amazon will reopen enrollment for new sellers to Seller Fulfilled Prime program in 2023 - is it worth it to sign up?

While buyers and sellers anxiously await the official announcement of dates for Prime Day in July, Amazon is reportedly inviting sellers to submit deals for a second Prime event in the Fall.

Amazon Invites Sellers To Submit Fall 2023 Prime Day Deals
While Amazon buyers await official Prime Day dates, a second Fall Prime event is once again in the works for 2023.

Amazon is encouraging sellers to add product videos to listings, opening the feature up to Non-Brand Registered Sellers who have been selling on the platform for at least 3 months.

Amazon Opens Product Videos To Non-Brand Registered Sellers
Amazon opens listing video feature to Non-Brand Registered sellers who have been on the platform for at least 3 months.

Etsy News

Etsy has announced updates to their Terms of Use, Privacy, and Intellectual Property policies, effective July 24, 2023 - pay close attention to changes to the arbitration clause!

Etsy Updates Terms Of Use, Privacy & Intellectual Property Policies 7-24-23
Etsy announces updates to Terms of Use, Privacy, and Intellectual Property policies, effective July 24, 2023.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman told the Fast Company’s Impact Council this week that focusing the company on "corporate do-gooderism" and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals powered turnaround and continues to drive success.

But buyers and sellers alike question how much good the company is really doing when the site is still flooded with counterfeits & dropshippers while AI bots take down real handmade items.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman: ESG “Do-Gooderism” Drives Success
CEO says Etsy is genuinely different than mass retailers, site still flooded with counterfeits & dropshippers.

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Week In Review

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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!