Home Product listing A glitch arises as eBay prepares a new messaging platform

A glitch arises as eBay prepares a new messaging platform


eBay is building a new messaging platform and will launch it in the spring, it announced Thursday. But in the meantime, users have reported an issue with the existing member messaging system that makes it harder for sellers to identify which listing a buyer is referring to in their inquiry.

“The eBay messaging system has been down for at least 2 weeks and the eBay rep says the possible fix date is MAY,” a reader told EcommerceBytes. The problem: “There is no longer a link in the message to access the list the message is about.” The issue occurs on both the mobile app and the desktop, according to the vendor.

The reader said it was crucial for eBay to include a link to the listing in the buyer’s message.

The sellers also reported the issue on eBay’s technical issues board. A seller wrote on Sunday, “I notice that suddenly whenever someone sends me a message with a question about an item, I can no longer visit the listing from the message. Previously, the item they sent a question about was linked below the message. Now it just says the item title, then I have to go to the sales page, find the item, go to the listing, gather the info, and go back to messages to reply. They called it a “horrible” change.

Another user also reported the issue on another eBay forum in a thread titled “eBay, why did you remove direct item links in eBay messages?” Another user who replied suggested a workaround: “if you click ‘reply’ there is still a link on this page.”

At eBay’s Investor Day on Thursday, chief product officer Pete Thompson said eBay will be rolling out a new messaging platform in the spring.

“We will phase out our decades-old email-based platform and in its place introduce a modern chat experience with built-in functionality.”

Thompson said sellers could easily “follow multiple message threads from buyers; they will see links to the specific item in question; and over time, they can streamline activities, such as offers, refunds, or shipping information directly from the messaging platform.

The next slide from Thursday’s presentation shows an example of a seller responding to a buyer through the new messaging platform. It is clear from the exchange that the seller knows what item the buyer is inquiring about and was able to identify the buyer as someone who has made a previous purchase. The exchange also highlights eBay’s seller-initiated offer feature:

“Hi, nice to see you shopping with me again. Yes, I can give you a 10% discount. Just a sec, I’ll send you an offer with the updated total.

eBay messaging platform

Source: eBay Investor Day slide

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is the co-founder and editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” ( McGraw-Hill 2006). His blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (September 2005 – present) and Investigative Journalists and Editors (March 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected] See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.