A Guide to eBay's Spring 2009 Changes
By Ina Steiner
eBay made some major announcements on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. The marketplace will expand the rollout its new Item page, launch a new dispute resolution process, introduce new features for sellers including a Smart FAQ and Multi-variation Fixed Price listings, and more. We've listed some items that might have slipped your notice and created a list of helpful links to learn more about these changes.
Some important things to know about eBay's forthcoming changes:
Sellers will have the option to cross-merchandise on other each others' relevant item pages. ("You can choose not to have cross-merchandising on your item pages, but your relevant items won't appear on other sellers' items pages.")
eBay will introduce Multi-variation Fixed Price listings in certain Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories and Home & Garden categories, which allows sellers to include multiple variations of one product (such as color and size) in one multi-quantity Fixed Price listing. Note that each variation has its own Best Match score.
eBay is introducing a new dispute resolution process for when buyers claim their item was not received or the item they received was not as described in the listing
Sellers are advised to upload package-tracking information for UPS and USPS shipments. Starting June 15, this information will be highlighted for buyers in My eBay. (And eBay will factor this information in the new dispute resolution process.)
Sellers may pay for shipping and print labels on eBay. ("We're gradually moving online shipping services from PayPal to eBay to make it faster and easier to pay for shipping and print labels.")
eBay is moving Estimated delivery and handling time to the top of the new Item listing page and is removing High Bidder, Seller Location and Member Since from the Item listing page.
eBay is using iFrames in the new Item page. ("Separating user-generated content, such as item descriptions, from eBay content enables eBay to provide an extra layer of security. The separation will prevent users from submitting HTML that may interfere with how eBay works.")
Sellers can turn on "Smart FAQs" by going to My eBay > My Account > Seller Preferences > FAQ. ("This is a new free feature that draws on live information from your listings to answer the top 20 buyer questions before buyers reach you through the "Ask a question" or "Contact seller" links.")
Some Helpful Links
A Message to Sellers from Stephanie Tilenius: Spring 2009 Update
eBay Summary of April 2009 Update
eBay Seller Checklist
eBay Town Hall Meeting (audio recording, 4/15/09)
eBay Discussion Board (now closed to new postings)
AuctionBytes Blog: "eBay's Product-Return Requirements in US and UK"
AuctionBytes Blog: "eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction"
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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