|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2749 - February 28, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065 3 of 4|
There are a lot of changes coming to eBay in 2012, and you can find an overview in Tuesday's Newsflash newsletter. To help answer sellers questions, EcommerceBytes has put together a guide to eBay's first Seller Release of the year.
While at first glance, the changes do not appear as dire as previous announcements, many sellers will find the changes will mean an investment of many hours to get listings into compliance with new policies. Some sellers will find they are excluded from the "good news" portion of the announcement, and a number of sellers may find the changes to be a deal breaker for them.
Interestingly, eBay made no announcement of advertising now appearing in sellers' paid listings. Found in one of the FAQs for the 2012 Spring Seller Release was found a note that eBay would be "improving the Item page," though no further information about the improvements could be found.
Readers are already sharing their thoughts about SR1 2012 in the EcommerceBytes Blog, where you will also find updates as we continue to follow today's news.
Free Photos and New Photo Policy
eBay is also rolling out a new policy. Starting this fall, all listings will be required to have a picture, and there will be new restrictions imposed. For example, borders around pictures and text added to pictures will no longer be allowed, though watermarks for attribution purposes only will continue to be allowed.
Changes to Top Rated Seller Program
Beginning June 1, only those listings from Top Rated Sellers that include 1-day or same day handling and a 14-day or longer return policy with a money-back option will qualify for the greatest average boost in Best Match and 20% final value fee discount.
Also starting June 1, the annual sales requirement for Top-rated status will be lowered from $3,000 to $1,000 to expand eligibility to more sellers who provide great service.
Changes to Feedback and Seller Protection
Starting April 23, all Feedback and related DSRs left by a buyer for a transaction where the buyer had an unpaid item recorded will automatically be removed, whether or not sellers use Unpaid Item Assistant, as long as they required eBay Checkout, an eBay approved electronic payment method, and local pick up was not offered.
In addition, any feedback from buyers that only reference customs issues will qualify for Feedback Removal.
eBay will also make it easier for sellers to specify same-day shipping.
Starting the week of May 28, buyers will see a message on the Item page for extended handling time for all listings with greater than 3 days handling time. Sellers will be able to use a new "business policies" feature to easily provide reasons in cases where handling time exceeds 3 days.
The new Returns functionality will be introduced starting the week of May 28, and sellers must opt in from the All Selling or Site Preferences page in My eBay.
Duplicate Listings and Other Listing Requirement Changes
In addition, sellers with an Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option for an item will be unable to list an identical item in the Fixed Price format. Sellers will also be unable to create duplicate Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option for identical items.
eBay has updated its Duplicate Listing policy to include guidelines specifying that Auction-style duplicate listings may be removed or be given less visibility in search results.
Changes to Categories and Item Specifics
eBay will hold a Town Hall to discuss the changes on Wednesday February 29th at 3:30pm PST.
Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.
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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