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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1833 - July 14, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Communication Breakdown as eBay Modifies Changes

By Ina Steiner
July 14, 2008

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On top of all the changes eBay has announced this year, it is now making changes to its changes. eBay announced a number of significant changes to users in January, and again last month (see the July 6th AuctionBytes-Update editorial about the challenges sellers face coping with these changes). Now it is modifying and delaying some of those changes, and sellers are left dazed and confused.

Commented one frustrated seller on the AuctionBytes Blog, "So why did I just spend the last 6 weeks revising my links? Do any of these departments at eBay talk to each other?"

On Thursday, eBay announced it would reverse some of the changes to its feedback system. But it took several conversations with eBay's Public Relations department for AuctionBytes to nail down exactly what the impact of the policy would have on seller non-performance criteria.

And despite numerous requests from AuctionBytes for clarification and a timetable on a new Links policy, eBay's Public Relations department failed to do so until Friday when we pointed to an article in eBay's newsletter for PowerSellers that said the company was delaying implementation of the links policy. An hour after AuctionBytes confirmed and wrote about the policy delay, eBay posted the news to its Announcement Board that is accessible to all users, writing that it would delay implementation of two new policies - the Links policy forbidding all off-eBay links, and its Specified Shipping policy, which was also scheduled to go into effect this month.

In Friday's announcement, eBay acknowledged the challenges sellers faced in making bulk revisions to make listings compliant with new policies when it wrote, "However, we've been working on improving our bulk editing tools to make it easy to update the shipping information within your listings all at once. These will be available in August, so we're going to delay the enforcement of this policy as well until these are available. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to launch."

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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