Who is more clever – me or eBay?

Those who have been following my eletter regularly will know that I have multiple eBay accounts – all at varying levels of powerseller/non powerseller status, and earlier this week I encountered a bit of a dilemma on a non powerseller ID which involved me having to telephone eBay for some help.

Now, it’s a long while since I’ve had to do this! With years of experience of eBay I’m an expert on their site set up and so I am usually able to work out the solution to a problem myself, but on this occasion after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I simply couldn’t seem to uncover the answer, so I needed to put their helpline to the test.

Contacting eBay was pretty straight-forward – and as I was doing this via one of my non powerseller accounts I simply chose the topic from the options given after I had signed in and clicked on the ‘Help & Contact’ link at the top of the home page and then clicked ‘Call Us’, was given a number to call along with a PIN to enter and this all worked very well. In fairness, the queueing time was only 2 minutes so I pretty much got put straight through to an advisor.

So far so good…

So what was my problem?

Well, it was actually something extremely simple and straight-forward – or so I thought!

I wanted to change the name of my eBay shop on this particular ID because I’m going to use the account for a completely new niche and range of products, so basically the old shop name was no good to me as it didn’t relate in any way to my new range.

Now, it’s actually very simple to change the name of your shop – you go to ‘My eBay’, go to ‘Summary’ and then click on ‘Manage My Shop’. From there you can click on ‘Edit Shop’ and make any changes – in my case I simply changed the name of my shop, added my new logo and saved that information.

The changes showed immediately, so I then altered all my keywords in the ‘Shop Design’ section, saved those and was happy that this was all done with ease.

However, when I went back to the ‘Manage My Shop’ summary page I noticed that in the ‘Shop Usage Information’ section at the top, my old shop name was still displayed. I refreshed. Refreshed again. Logged out and logged back in – twice – but it still remained the same.

Why was this a problem to me? Well, because the name displayed in ‘Shop Usage Information’ is also your unique URL to your eBay shop, so my URL now didn’t match my shop name! This meant that if I wanted to send someone to my shop via social media or other marketing means I would have to use a link that bore no resemblance to my niche or products – not good, not professional, not going to bring me any customers!

And I just couldn’t fathom how to change my shop URL – hence my call to eBay.

After a long conversation, it transpired that when you change the name of your shop, the URL remains the same – i.e it stays as your original shop name, so for example if you sold watches and your shop name was ‘The Watch Shop’, your URL would be stores.ebay.co.uk/the-watch-shop/ which is great.

But if you then have a change of niche and product and change your eBay shop name to ‘The Toy Shop’, even though your shop name appears as ‘The Toy Shop’ your URL is still stores.ebay.co.uk/the-watch-shop/ which is absolutely no good to man nor beast for professional appearance and marketing purposes!

Apparently this is in case buyers have bookmarked your shop and a change of URL would mean they couldn’t find you anymore. Ok, point taken, however if you’re having a total change of niche and product this doesn’t really impact since you won’t be selling products that are specifically of interest to those who’ve previously bookmarked your page!

So, I asked during my lengthy phone call, can eBay please change my URL for me? Apparently not – only a web designer can do this.

So, I asked, can I close my shop then re-open it under the new name? My logic here was that as it would be a new shop from scratch the URL would match the new shop name. Apparently not – the URL would still show as the very first shop name I ever used as it’s tied to the account – forever!

Okaaaay, so, I asked, is there anything at all that I can do to ensure my URL matches my shop name?.

No…. was the reply I received from eBay.

This is ridiculous I thought so I ended the call and set about trying to solve the problem myself. Back to square one.

But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending – because I did manage to solve the problem and there is a way that you can change your URL to match your new shop name and I’m going to explain how, because I think this could be an issue that you could potentially encounter and without resolving, could be detrimental to your business.

Here we go…

I noticed that at the top of my shop page there is a little button that says ‘Revert to my old shop’ – it’s right next to the ‘Manage My Shop’ button.

As I had nothing to lose and I was running out of ideas, I thought I’d click that button and see what happened – and I’m glad I did! This button took me back to the old style eBay shop settings and format. I didn’t lose any information when I clicked this by the way.

Then I clicked on ‘Manage My Store’. I wasn’t sure where to go next but after a few random clicks in and out of different settings I clicked on ‘Display Settings’ which appeared on the left hand menu as this seemed the logical place to be able to change what’s displayed and…Bingo!

There on the right hand side of the ‘Basic Information’ header was a lovely little link that said ‘Change Link’. I clicked. I changed the link to my new shop name and then saved.

Hey presto – the URL updated immediately with my new shop name. Then I simply reverted back to the new format again here

I clicked the ‘Preview’ button, checked all was ok then clicked ‘Publish’ and hallelujah in my ‘Shop Usage Information’ my new shop name was displayed.

How about that! Just to double check all was as it should be, I then typed in my new URL directly and it worked, taking me straight to my new shop.

To reiterate, the steps are:

  1. Click ‘Revert to old Shop’
  2. Click ‘Manage My Store’
  3. Click ‘Display Settings’
  4. Click ‘Change Link’ under ‘Basic Information’
  5. Type in your new shop name
  6. Save
  7. Revert to new store format here
  8. Preview
  9. Click ‘Publish’

So I’m glad I didn’t take no for an answer on this one and persevered and importantly, if you’re considering changing your shop name anytime soon, I hope I’ve saved you some time when you encounter the same issue.