... or 'How to Navigate my eBay Store & Listings After eBay's Summer 2018 Update
Last updated: June 8, 2018
I'd always hoped to avoid having to create this page, but eBay's most recent update (Summer 2018) has made shopping so confusing to buyers that it's time to create a little instruction manual to aid in shopping my own eBay Store.
It feels like eBay rolls out changes every other week (day?) these days, so that by the time the "Summer" update is complete there is a brand new Fall update announced. I see this much more as a seller on the site than as a buyer. As a buyer, I often see a mess. This is ironic because I really believe eBay tries to cater to their buyers much more than to their sellers, but in doing so they fail to understand that buyers crave consistency. It's not nearly as easy (or fun) to shop the site as it used to be (and if you think the grass is greener on Amazon, uh uh. Much harder to sell and the buying there hasn't been great lately either ... at least I'm not returning stuff on eBay!).
Sidebar complaint: From my perspective as someone who uses eBay primarily to buy and sell collectible and antique items, the biggest eBay issue is their inability to recognize that you cannot list, market, or sell a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) vintage item the same one-size-fits-all way you can a retail commodity item. For instance, one of my old movie photos won't do well when presented for sale in the same manner as the latest electrical gizmo or even a recent bestselling book.
When I shop online I'm the type who always looks for a coupon or special deal before committing to buy. I like to offer my customers the same types of opportunities for savings, and a few eBay innovations over the past couple of years have helped make this a possibility when selling from their site. Basically, the more of my stuff you buy, the better I like to reward you.
So while I have several offers available to eBay shoppers who like to buy their cards and collectibles in bulk, recent eBay changes haven't always made it easy to find and/or apply all of my deals and discounts.
First off, here are the deals that I am currently offering on eBay (as of date at top):
- Free US Shipping on orders $29.00 and Above
- Buy 4, Get 1 Free (most items)
- Buy 2, Get 2 Free (on $2.50 movie cards - 4 cards for $5.00!)
- Various percent-off sales typically ranging from 10-40% off
Now this first issue that I'm about to point out went into effect prior to the latest round of changes, but is probably the most important and most misunderstood point of shopping the current eBay: to receive any of my deals you must use eBay's ADD TO CART function (I believe it's ADD TO BASKET in other countries).
Please use ADD TO CART
When you add my items to your eBay cart eBay will actually calculate all discounts correctly--and you can combine those deals I mention above, so this could add up to big savings. I cannot retroactively apply discounts. So, here, this is the button you want to use:
(Click to enlarge, use your browser's back button to return. Same for all following images)
If I sound like a jerk explaining this, I apologize--I am frustrated, but it's with eBay, not my shoppers!
You see, in the 'old days' buyers used to be able to use 'Buy it Now' to purchase items one at a time over a period of days, even weeks, and then in the end I could send them a tidy combined invoice. Then a year or two ago eBay decided there were too many deadbeats and transferred over time to requiring immediate payment on pretty much everything except auctions.
Personally, I never had many deadbeats. I had no problem allowing customers a week or two to finish their buying before sending a final invoice along. Not anymore though, eBay wants all items paid at once and pretty much forces me to ship them within a day of payment. Forces me? Well, if I want to receive the seller discounts they offer, I'm forced to ship a high percentage of items right away.
So, I apologize, but if you pay for an item and ask me to hold it for a week, I can't do it anymore. A $5.00 purchase like that could end up costing me $25-$30 on my monthly eBay bill for a few months should they decide to penalize me for not shipping within a day of purchase.
It's gotten so bad that I've included several of my terms in eBay's 'Sellers Payment Instructions' area with hope that buyers see this:
(I don't want to include this info in the main body of my listing because any change would then mean thousands of individual edits--putting the info where I have it now, I can bulk edit all listings if I need to change anything).
Of course, you very well may not find that info on my eBay listing because it's hidden.
Check the 'Shipping and Payments' Tab
That leads me to another past change that bugs me, because I know many buyers don't see it. For some reason eBay listings are comprised of two tabs: one the main items description, the other various terms of sale. It defaults to the item description, but the other info is hidden until a buyer actually clicks the "Shipping and Payments" tab. When they do, they see important info such as this:
You may want to buy a few more items if you know my shipping is automatically combined at no extra charge (again, only if you use eBay's ADD TO CART button).
Okay, now on to the most recent changes. They've "upgraded" eBay stores by removing several features and calling it a benefit. Little stuff, but a few of these changes effect the way I presented my items to you.
Check for Subcategories
First off, and this one is minor, it's no longer intuitive that my eBay Store Categories may have subcategories. You have to click the category itself to be presented with subcategories. Here's a picture:
You need to click the main "Movie Collectibles" category to become aware of subcategories such as Movie Cards and Movie Photos (and each of those subcategories have additional subcategories!). I may work around this soon by changing my subcategories into main categories, but I'm hesitant to move too fast on anything until I'm sure all of eBay's changes are in effect.
Presentation or Killing Best Match
The last two problems I have are closely related: I preferred to show the items in my eBay Store arranged in a list with my newly listed items appearing first to buyers.
eBay prefers to show listings in a gallery format (rather than list) and by their beloved 'Best Match' formula rather than my preferred new items first. The good news is you can make my store look like it used to with a couple of clicks (the bad news is that I cannot as eBay overrides my settings).
Now you may prefer the eBay way, and if so, great, you don't have to do anything. But if you'd rather have the page look like I used to have it, you just have to select a couple of options near the top of the page.
Option 1, change from Best Match to another sort formula. Hover over eBay's Best Match text and the other options present themselves in this drop-down menu:
Option 2, change from Gallery to List View. This toggle is right next to the previous one (for now) and it only has the two options (though the images are a bit confusing). Here's what you see when you hover over what I assume to be their gallery icon:
Bottom line is that it's eBay's site and I've got to conform if I want to continue selling upon it--that said, I can try to make it a little easier for you with a page like this! I hope it works.
That's all for now, though I am sure I will be updating the date at the top of this page from its original June 8, 2018 at some time in the future: sooner than later, for sure.
You can shop my eBay Store here (Note: affiliate link). And thank you for doing so!
Finally, feel free to join in below. Bet I've already missed something that's bugging you ... and you may be either an eBay shopper or seller!