It must be Q4! eBay’s rolling out major changes…

October 11, 2007

Every year at ChannelAdvisor when October 1 rolls around, we grab the arms of our office chairs and grit our teeth in anticipation of some random unannounced change that’s going to rock the boat for both partners like CA and more importantly eBay sellers.

Well, here we are at the 11th day of Q4 and we already have two really great candidates:

1. eBay posted to Chatter about a new checkout ‘coming soon’ and then Ina@AuctionBytes uncovers that (drum roll please), yep, it’s coming in Q4!! (good news to CA customers here, we redirect all eBay checkouts to our system which I can promise you we are not going to be changing in Q4).

2. PayPal slid out an announcement today that for select transactions (I bet over $100?) they are going to delay payment for as long as 24hrs.  Here’s the catch.  We have no idea how sellers+buyers are going to be alerted to this new ‘state’ and also there haven’t been any developer announcements on if there are any APIs to let us know that a payment has entered ‘pending’.  PayPal’s latest rollouts of new features have been pretty rough so the office pool has this one winning the majority of votes as ‘most likely to disrupt Q4 holiday sales’.  Imagine if you’re a laptop seller and you have a lot of payments go under review, how are buyers going to react?  Well, you’re DSRs are going to take a big hit, I can tell you that.  This is a lose lose, if eBay/paypal does say: “Your payment looks fishy so we’re going to review for a day”, then the buyer is upset, if eBay says nothing, then well, your shipment is delayed a day without the buyer knowing why so the seller is going to be blamed.  What happens when the team doing this is overwhelmed in Q4 and the delays stretch to 36hrs?  48? 72?  ‘stuck in pending’??

eBay Strategies readers – any other vibes of major changes out there that could disrupt a smooth Q4 selling season?