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How Much Will EBay's Expanded Product Reviews Affect Your Purchases?

How Much Will EBay's Expanded Product Reviews Affect Your Purchases?

I have to admit, although I shop on both eBay and Amazon (and Etsy occasionally), for new items, I go to Amazon more often so I can have the benefit of their many product reviews. This is not to say that the experience of every reviewer will be the same as mine, but when you read a lot of different reviews of one product, you get a pretty good idea of how it will perform.

In an effort to catch up to Amazon in the product reviews category (they have a ways to go, but hey, it's never too late), EBay announced in its Fall 2016 Seller Update that it was expanding seller reviews.

To wit:

"We have improved product reviews for buyers and sellers, leveraging catalog and other data. We have also:

    Expanded reviews to even more products
    Created a cleaner design with easy-to-identify ratings
    Created simplified follow-up emails to buyers requesting product reviews

"These changes will help drive conversion and keep buyers on eBay.

"In addition, starting May 6, product reviews will be available for all eligible listings. eBay sellers who previously opted out of product reviews on My eBay will be opted back into product reviews. If you opted out and want to opt in to take advantage of the benefits of product reviews before May 6, you can do so on My eBay."

Further, if there is no review written yet for a product, "a buyer will be given the opportunity to be the first to write a review and any buyers of reviewable items will receive an email encouraging them to write a review. All eligible products across all categories in general can be reviewed and show reviews."

Can used items have reviews? EBay says, "Research shows that users like to read reviews about both new and used items. We require reviewers to indicate the condition of items they are reviewing to ensure that the most relevant information is provided to buyers. We will continue to evaluate how buyers use the information and will make adjustments when appropriate."

Reviews of used items could be interesting, if not downright entertaining.  I would also like to see reviews of quirky, one-off items. While the item may not be available to another eBayer, it could be interesting to read such reviews, and they could apply to similar items.

How much do product reviews drive your purchases? And what do you think of eBay's changes regarding product reviews? Do you mind that you will be opted back in to product reviews come May? Post a comment here!