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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1814 - June 18, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    0 of 9

eBay Product Roadmap Leads to More Seller Requirements

By Julia Wilkinson
EcommerceBytes.com
June 18, 2008




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Seller Requirements, such as specifying at least one domestic shipping service, including a handling time and return policy; as well as new PayPal rules for international sites, and Trust & Safety changes such as anonymizing email addresses were discussed by eBay Director of Product Management, Adam Trachtenberg, in his "eBay Product Roadmap" session Wednesday, June 18 - a repeat of the Monday session.

Other notable changes covered included the international payments arena, where Trachtenberg said the U.S. was not going to PayPal-only. However, Australia was evaluating PayPal-only in mid-July, and in the U.K., PayPal was required as of 6/3. Other countries were "TBD," and Trachtenberg said there were "exceptions for certain categories," such as vehicles or capital equipment, depending on the country.

In terms of the developer community, cross-merchandising services are available, with the ability to, for example, sell products using the brand of another, and "promote contextually relevant products and items."

Trachtenberg said API calls were released Monday for most-watched items, good deals, related category items, and top-selling products, and he noted there would be "more to come."

The Shipping Edge
Using some of the shipping specifics will give sellers a higher standing in the search results, said Trachtenberg, for example; lower shipping prices. Along with the new requirement to specify at least one domestic shipping service, they "strongly suggest" you put weight and dimensions for the "shipping calculator."

"Freight" is also being added as a service.

All sellers must also include a handling time, and specify a return policy, even if it is "none," although this is not applicable in certain categories/formats.

Large Seller Improvements
The "large seller improvements" include batch changes, item additions, ending, price updates; and, interestingly, the ability to compress multiple listings into one listing, e.g., with a base item with differences such as size, color, material, etc.

Feedback automation includes rules to automatically provide positive feedback for "a better buying experience," said Trachtenberg.

All these changes are geared toward "making eBay better," he said, and to create a "first-class buyer experience."

Trusted Marketplace
"Critical item info" is now mandated, said Trachtenberg, and "more changes may be coming. Member emails will now be anonymized, and sent through the member-to-member system, he said. But "sellers will receive buyers’ actual email address upon completion of the transaction."

Also, seller email addresses are no longer to be included in listings.

He also reiterated the new eBay Links policy, where, "generally speaking, there are no links allowed off eBay, whether or not the item is being offered for sale on that site."

New sellers will now be verified with a call to their registered phone number, and have to be PayPal verified or Live Chat verified.

All of these changes are adding up to a better buying experience and "making eBay better," said Trachtenberg, and added that they welcome feedback. Constructive input and suggestions are most welcome, he said. For example, an "I understand why you did it this way, but have you thought about doing it this way?" would be more welcome than just explaining why you think the existing way is bad.

What's your opinion? Let us know here: http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2008/Jun/1213819362.html

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Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6); Her latest ebook, "Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay," is available on her website. http://www.yardsalers.net/500Books.asp

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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