Customer Experience Review

Easy Ebay?

Katherine - 1 st September 2016

The customer

It’s the January cliché! You wake up on 1st January and decide your life is a mess.  Time to shed the weight, shed the mess, read more and just be better in general.  Normally this lasts all of 4 weeks for most people but when I stood in despair looking at my stuffed wardrobe, I decided to take action.  It was full of things I’ve never worn, gifts I’ve never used and items I haven’t worn in ages for whatever reason.

So now what? I’d already given a lot of things to charity shops- I always have but decided that I would give ebay a try for a change.  It’s nothing new- it’s been around since 1995 but I have never felt compelled to use it despite a few friends buying and selling on it.

The experience

Maybe naively, I thought it would be easy- take a few pictures, provide as much information as possible and your trash will become the next man’s treasure!

To be fair, posting an item was easier than I anticipated.  The selling page is full of drop down menus so you select the information that ebay says the punters will want to know: size, length, material etc.  Auction or fixed price? First or second class post? It steers you on that too, recommending what similar items have sold for and how much the post had cost. Excellent! 

The confusion comes when it comes to getting your cash.  This part of the process needs to be as simple as the first.  I had registered with PayPal, so far so good but it’s still a separate process to go through.  I’d also helped myself by setting up email notifications when any of my posted items sold but this means that when an item sells, I get the information twice which is annoying.  I found this process without instructions or help, I found out that as a new seller I would not receive any money into my PayPal account until a month had passed.  OK I wasn’t desperate for the cash but it took the shine off the thrill I had from selling a dress I had from 2007.  

The alignment

Ebay is an online marketplace where customers can buy and sell from their own homes.  It empowers me, a woman sat in Manchester, to sell items from my bedroom. 

When I sold my first dress on ebay, I was thrilled!  However, the buyer didn’t pay me the money- well I hadn’t expected that! …So I had to ‘open a case’- a way in which ebay solves any disputes.  After waiting another week, I was granted permission to resell my item- that was frustrating and not smooth at all. 

It needs to tighten up the whole customer experience and make it even easier and hassle free.  Consumers (including me) today are mightily impatient and will not wait for anything- if we get frustrated and the brand isn’t compelling- we’ll just go elsewhere.   The selling pages are as clear and simple as the logo but the rest is not.  If ebay wants to regain its lead as it faces fierce competition from Amazon marketplace, artisanal Etsy and Gumtree to name a few.

As a CX Strategist, Katherine enjoys moderating research and facilitating collaborative workshops to provide clients with essential insight for the development of their brands. Previous management roles at McDonald’s and Marks & Spencer mean that Katherine’s passion and expertise is rooted in retail and hospitality. 
Find out more about Katherine