Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 9 2017 12:49:53

eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay surprised sellers today with a "summer" Seller Update - for at least the past 5 years it has released only a Spring and Fall seller release.

Here's the announcement from the eBay Announcement Board: 

2017 Summer Seller Update

In the 2017 Summer Seller Update, we're making changes to help you increase your sales by creating a better experience for buyers.
 
Starting in June
Listing Policy Updates
Updates to communications, allowable links, image catalog, and listing best practices to improve site performance for a stronger eBay marketplace.

- Beginning in June 2017, eBay will no longer support active content.

- Buyers and sellers should use eBay Messaging to communicate. Listings and other eBay pages can no longer contain contact information such as email, phone numbers, and social media links effective September 2017

- Starting in September  2017, we will update our links policy to limit the types of links and domains permitted in listings.
 
Coming this summer
Returns
We're increasing exposure of free 30-day and 60-day returns to buyers starting this summer. New opportunities will include:

- Giving buyers options to search for and filter free 30-day and 60-day returns.

- Highlighting free returns policies when buyers visit your listings.

- eBay marketing campaigns that feature the best returns policies.
 
Effective August 1, 2017
International Performance Standards
Starting August 1, 2017, only transactions with buyers in the countries included in the Global region (countries outside the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany) will count toward your seller performance rating in the Global region.
 
Beginning June 13, 2017
Category and Classification
We will release category, item specifics, and catalog updates starting on June 13, 2017. Changes will include additions, removals, and renames in several eBay categories.
 
For more information:
 

Learn about eBay's seller vision in this blog by Bob Kupbens, Vice President of Business-to-Consumer Selling (Ed.: from February)

Listen to subject matter experts on eBay Radio  from 11 am - 1 pm PT on May 9, 2017
 
Find answers to your questions at the eBay Community Board

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.



eBay is also updating its User Agreement.

Here's a link to the announcement, let us know what you think and which changes will be most beneficial and/or harmful.

Comments (85) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue May 9 13:08:21 2017

The "Giving buyers options to search for and filter free 30-day and 60-day returns" is actually an option that I approve of, because MY LISTINGS WILL NOT SHOW UP FOR THOSE BUYERS!!!!  I truly hope that it filters out ALL of my listings from buyers with those expectations.

I do not want those buyers. If a buyer does not know within 3-5 days whether or not they are pleased with an item, and if takes them 30-60 days to figure that out, I clearly don't want them buying my merchandise.

Thank you eBay!!!! I think that you are finally doing me a favor!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue May 9 13:14:37 2017

I don't mind much of what this unexpected update states.  But the one thing that stands out to me the most is this:

Additional control when you offer free returns

Starting this fall, sellers who offer free returns can decide if they want to offer less than a full refund in cases where an item is returned that is not in the same condition that it was in when you shipped it (e.g., a damaged item or an open-box return).

IMHO this should be available to ALL sellers, not just sellers that offer free returns.  

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: Sunflower This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 13:51:15 2017

I agree with Rexford. Ebay can sort those buyers out and let them return items 30-60 days later to sellers that want to these type of buyers. My experience with these type of buyers are the rent and return buyers. Don't need them, no thank you. I am glad my listings will not show up.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: ac2015 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 14:02:34 2017

It's amazing to see how over the years that business for many of us small and medium sized businesses have collapsed on ebay. All of their corporate agreements keep revenue rolling, but the changes of the years has led so many to simply collapse in sales.

We're a medium sized business that's been in the marketplace for nearly 20 years and while all other sales channels roar, ebay sits there with a pathetic whimper. To think of what it could be if they actually improved the marketplace? It started with Whitman, then Donohoe, and now crumbs.  

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 14:37:58 2017


instead of all this new stuff, devil should fix all the stuff that does not work.

glitch-a-rama continues!!

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 14:48:23 2017

It doesn't matter how many filters Ebay offers, the cold hard facts are 99% of the buyers don't use them, nor do they read the description.

The other 1% are those that THINK THE WORLD IS PERFECT that they belong on all blocked bidder lists. This just saves a lot of us a lot of time trying to explain to those numbskulls why it isn't.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 14:49:37 2017

We sell surplus hardware and electronic components. We currently include links to manufacturer datasheets and/or manuals. These are not always easy to find and most are collected and hosted on our own server. It appears that the next update will exclude all such links?

--David

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue May 9 14:54:43 2017

ac2016 says "It's amazing to see how over the years that business for many of us small and medium sized businesses have collapsed on ebay"

All by design my fellow seller.  As you suggest, those wheels were put into motion by Whitman and Donahoe years ago. And in doing so they destroyed a most perfect buyer and seller ecosystem.

And all that I have seen since those Whitman / Donahoe days, and continue to see, is an ecommerce site with an identity crisis, continuing to change course, and continuing to throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.  Continuing to try to emulate the best aspects of other sites, but mastering none.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue May 9 15:07:32 2017

@Marie

I am also looking at the return policy in which a seller can hold some of the refund if the item is not in the same condition as shipped.

Do not think this will work. Just imagine the many disputes that will take place when a buyer is not issued a full refund. Of course, eBay will not take the time to review each case individually.

And what happens in the case of a SNAD return?? Since the item is deemed by the buyer not to match the description (whether it does or not), it would be verrry difficult to withhold some of the refund amount.

In any event, if anything less than 100% of their purchase price is refunded upon receipt, buyers will run to PayPal and file a claim.

And win. Then eBay will respond with ''Sorry this happened to you. PayPal was just the payment processing company involved, and they are not affiliated with us. Thanks for being a valued seller!''.

I could see through this right away. No chance they will let a buyer receive anything less than all their money back when an item is returned.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue May 9 15:20:41 2017

What a worthless update.  Isolating sellers even further (no social media, no links) and only highlighting free rentals.  Are they retarded?  No, seriously, are they retarded?  What normal person is looking for 30, let alone 60, day returns?  Where are are of the actual functional changed we need, like working searches and pages with clear info instead of a maze of dead links?  How many gallons of bleach does one have to drink to land a job as an eBay executive?

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue May 9 15:31:08 2017

What stands out for me is, "eBay marketing campaigns that feature the best returns policies."

This tells me that they are going to push the 30 to 60 day returns in all their advertising to attract more "renters."

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 15:31:20 2017

Rexford nailed it!!!

I also hate the idea of changes to categories since we have no idea what is changing to what and when, and then the fun of manually updating thousands of listings.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue May 9 15:46:36 2017

@extinctbay

The return process can be extremely complicated as well as frustrating.   Ebay now allows all Sellers to negotiate with their buyers when they need to return an item for whatever reason they may have.  This happens during the Request stage.  We have the ability to communicate with our buyer and hopefully keep Ebay out of the process.  

If we are very careful in our wording on how we respond to the buyer, the buyer typically will come back reasonably.  This is an opportunity for the seller and the buyer to come to an agreement.  That agreement can be anything you and the buyer deem is appropriate for the situation.   Ebay has NO control at this point in the process.  NONE.

During the Request stage you and your buyer can agree to a partial refund for whatever reason there is, or agree to paying the return shipping, or whatever works for both of you.  I've done this many times over the years.

If it appears to me that it is a real SNAD or a damaged item, I make no fuss, I pay for the return and fully refund the buyer.

If you tick off your buyer or your buyer otherwise feels they are getting nowhere with you or doesn't like what you are saying, they have the ability to escalate this to a Claim and then Ebay steps in and does what Ebay always does.  Rule for the buyer.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: Mongoose This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 16:24:19 2017

"A buyer can return the item, but remember, the item must be in the same condition. If it isn't the seller can choose to give a partial refund.



Thanks for selling at eBay



Brian"

Brian Burke is a real comedian!

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by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 16:33:46 2017

This note was included on the e-mail I received from eBay:

"We may automatically renew your fixed-price listings unless your listing sells out or you cancel your listing."

I then looked at the updated User Agreement and found this:

"When you use the consumer seller listing tool to create listings, your fixed-price listings may renew automatically every 30 days, based on the listing terms at that time, until the quantities sell out or until you cancel the listing."

I then called eBay and . . . of course . . . spoke with a representative who was difficult to understand and who had absolutely no knowledge of the updated policies. She put me on hold and checked, and then told me that if any of my listings are automatically renewed without my permission that I can then call eBay and they will "help me with the problem."

I told her that was a horrible answer and that if eBay automatically renewed any of my listings, - spent my money without my permission - that I would close my account immediately and receive a full refund.

I hope I am over reacting. I have several hundred listings I have absolutely no desire to relist except when that can be done for free. I make soooo little money selling on eBay now walking away would be almost as much a relief as a set back.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 16:36:29 2017

The company I work for has had the ability to withhold refund amount. If a customer opens a snad but for a non snad reason we withhold shipping from the refund because that's what the ebay manager tells us..but we get negatives and they don't remocevthem. EBay is rediculous and will eventually implode. They don't have the sales to be doing this like anazon. We barely make anything on ebay maybe 800k a year while we make 40 miles on amazon it's laughable

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 16:55:38 2017

Another useless update for SELLERS.

One might think that eBay might actually LEARN SOMETHING from reading places like this or even its own forums but NO.

They OBVIOUSLY didnt learn from the 90 day return debacle last year - so now they are going for 60 days ... well thank you very much Idiot Uncle Good Grief!

STOP filtering my listings, stop making @$$HOLISH rules, get out of my life stupid eBay.

THIS is why Amazon sales grew %58 and eBays sales grew %3 .....


when will they ever learn?

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 16:58:34 2017

One of the other really sad parts of this update concerns Canadian Sellers. Ebay is doing some creative corperate shuffling and as such the Canadian entity is now becoming some other Canadian contracted agent. The result of this is that they will start collecting GST/HST on all fees levied on Canadian sellers.

For my part that means an instant 13% increase to all fees as I am in Ontario. I get nothing in return, no added bonus, no boost in value, just another 13% hit to my pocket.Ebay claims "they are not increasing their fees but the new agent is legally required to collect the taxes" What a load of crap!

I have words for ebay on this but they are not fit to print.

Perminate Link for eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update   eBay Changes Seller Policies in Surprise Summer Update

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 9 17:24:50 2017

death by a thousand cuts....  So TRS discount minus 10% -  FREE returns get more exposure -  Somehow in this deal Ebay is guaranteed to makes xyz % profit - not sellers.  We have had No Restock fee for years, but added 10% restock fee as returns are a REAL cost while forgoing any of the profit the item should have made and on top of that especially BECAUSE ebay sliced the TRS Discount in 1/2.  Ebay does at some point need to understand that profitable sellers is the key to success, not slicing and dicing the sellers to bits and pieces until there are only crumpets left on the floor.  Chers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue May 9 17:28:04 2017

@Marie

I know and agree you can work out problems during the return request stage. And we as sellers need to tread lightly during this process.

There are many online buyers (especially on Amazon) who request returns specifically to be perhaps told ''NO!'', file a claim, and keep your merchandise and your money.

What I was referring to is this new rule regarding what happens (after) the returned item is received, and is opened, broken, missing parts, etc.....

One way or another, the buyer will get a full refund. Either by an eBay or PayPal Money Back Guarantee claim.

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