19-Feb-2016 Update: WatchCount has closed down the Buyer/Bidder History search due to a (polite) request from eBay. Here’s their official note, and here’s a link with a little more context from their Facebook group. Just remember, ‘scammers’ are not common except for in a few categories, so really, it’s not that big of a deal. Just be sure to protect yourself.
It’s not just for creepy people!
They have a lot of FREE interesting eBay search capabilities for misspelled words, most watched items, some helpful little website plugins, the missing wildcard (*) search, and this little gem: a Buyer/Bidder History Search.
Now, for any sellers who’ve been around the eBay block for a while, this isn’t anything new. eBay used to let you see what a buyer’s purchase history. People started getting weirded out about it (and no, the Adult section wasn’t ever broadcast), and it was removed when they decoupled the feedback with the purchased item.
The thing is, though, that being able to look at a buyer’s purchase history wasn’t just for stalkers. The additional info helped sellers make decisions about whether or not to give a customer some slack based!
Here’s an example.
If you were around for my clothing series, you would hopefully know that vintage Ralph Lauren Polo is a great brand to re-sell. ESPECIALLY the ones that have the POLO spelled out on the front!
After having this listed for about a month and a half, I had accumulated 21 watchers. So let’s just say that there was a lot of interest!
I had the sweatshirt listed at $79.99 BIN with NO best offer.
After looking at this item at the top of my listings (sorted by interest), someone gave me a question. He was having issues buying the item complaining that PayPal was asking him to connect a credit card to his account. He said that he’d made purchases before and never had this, but I was leery. The issue seemed to be a combination of his not having enough money in his PayPal account and my listing having “Immediate Payment Required.”
The buyer only had 3 feedback, but using the Watch Count tool, I was able to see that he had purchased two vintage Polo items recently (one a month ago and another 3 months ago).
I was able to gain the confidence that this guy wasn’t yanking my chain. I ended up removing the “Immediate Payment” option from the listing for 2 reasons.
First, the previous items purchased showed me that he was a Polo collector of sorts. Second, I knew that I could re-list it if need be. I had 21 watchers, and felt that one of them would have been kicking themselves because they didn’t buy it the first time around!
In the end, the buyer paid for the item the next morning, and I shipped it right before I left for work! It was a Global Shipping Program sale, and I couldn’t be happier. He even gave me positive feedback once it got shipped out (I’m not gonna complain about that one).
So there you have it. I don’t want to be one of the people who miss the glory days of eBay where people sent each other envelopes with cash in them, but this feature was very helpful to sellers and is sorely missed (at least by this guy).
eBay DSR Improvements
It’s not all bad though over in eBay land. They’ve rolled out a new way to view your defects which is FANTASTIC. I talked about the DSR system when it was implemnted, and my biggest gripe was how they ‘helped’ you find your defects.
It was this terrible .csv spreadsheet that gave you a near meaningless item ID. You’d have to search your e-mails to figure out what the item even was!
Now, when you go to your Seller Dashboard, you can click on your defect % and grab the “Transaction Defect Report” at the bottom.
This report not only shows you what items you’ve had issues with but also shows you any defects that you’ve gotten removed! It’s a great step in the right direction for eBay helping sellers understand ways they can improve.