As a part of our ongoing series relating to eBay’s spring seller update and the move towards product-based (or as some call it ‘the switch to buy-box’), we are going to explore the new experience to better understand how we can adapt to the upcoming changes to keep up the pace.
“Our sellers’ success starts with ensuring that buyers shop on eBay first. To meet buyers’ continuously evolving expectations, eBay is transitioning many categories to a product-based shopping experience where all listings for the same product are grouped together.”
What is the ePID?
The ePID, abbreviate for ‘eBay Product ID’ is referring to the ID numbers of the products in the eBay catalog. It will be similar to the Amazon’s ASIN number. although it was introduced almost ten years ago, it will become visible to buyers for the first time by the end of April, (which is next week!) with these products:
The catalog will then start to expand and reach more products and categories gradually. It was important for us to know if eventually all items on eBay will be introduced to the catalog, so when we turned to eBay press department with some questions, this was the first to come up:
– Are you expecting all items on eBay that is offered by more than one seller to eventually enter the catalog with a product based view? If so, when do you believe it will be applied?
“The goal is for every item on eBay to be represented in the catalog. We have started a phased rollout in commodity goods and will slowly expand coverage in partnership with our community of experts. In terms of exact dates – it’s too early to share when we think the entire platform will be productized.”
So, they can’t say exactly how long it will take, but their plan is to incorporate all products into the catalog with the new shopping experience.
eBay is using the UPC, EAN, and ISBN numbers to create the catalog. From next month, you will have to use one of those numbers if you want to edit or relist an existing item or create a new one listing that is featured in the catalog. It will also be necessary when creating listings with multi-variations for each of them.
How to become the featured seller on eBay buy box
We wanted to know what can a seller do if he wants to increase his chances of being the default seller of a product, so our second question was this:
– What will be the main factors in determining the featured seller for a product in the eBay catalog, and what steps can a seller take in order to improve his chances other than lowering his price?
“Other than price – seller performance, shipping cost, delivery time, and return policy are all listing elements we may consider when identifying a top pick.”
So as you can see, there are still many things we can do in order to improve our chances to headline within those products buy-boxes.
We also wanted to know if the update has any implications for drop shippers and sellers who use third-party sources and was surprised to find out that there are none:
– What are your expectations from sellers who work with third-party suppliers for storage & shipping as opposed to the ones managing their own inventory and shipping process in regards to the upcoming updates?
“There are no differing expectations. All sellers who want their inventory included in the new product-based shopping experience will need to associate their listings with a product in the eBay catalog.”
So basically, while the update will probably have some impact on certain sellers, those who will stay ahead and adapt to the changes will still be able to continue working and earning their daily bread. It’s not like right now we can’t see that for every item on eBay there’s one outstanding seller and many others trailing.
- Shai is the editor of DSMagazine and our marketing expert. His eBay account is open since 2011, and he just moved out of Thailand after living there for 5 years to travel the world with his laptop. Also, he firmly believes in single-tasking. (P.S, He can speak Hebrew, English, and Thai!)