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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2854 - July 24, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 3

eBay Announces Fall Update Changes for UK Sellers

By Ina Steiner
July 24, 2012

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It's that time of year when sellers brace for more changes from eBay. The company is set to announce "Seller Release 2," aka its Fall Seller Update. EcommerceBytes has the details of what's coming in today's news story, and this morning, eBay UK announced its seller release called the Autumn Seller Update.

eBay UK is introducing much of what the U.S. marketplace is set to announce later today - or has already announced in previous releases. Other changes show eBay's commitment to growing cross-border trade, which executives have said is a priority for eBay.

Seller Protection
Both U.S. and UK sellers will have something to like in today's announcement around policies enacted to protect them from buyer claims, but they will have to wait. As in the U.S., eBay UK's new seller protection policies don't go into effect until February 2013.

Under the new policies, buyers will be required to contact sellers through eBay before they can open a claim for items not received or significantly not as described. But where eBay.com gives sellers three business days to respond and resolve the situation before a case can be opened, eBay UK gives seller 8 days.

Only claims ("queries") found in favor of the buyer will be included in sellers' performance evaluation.

eBay UK is also introducing a new feature: "If a buyer asks "When am I likely to receive my item?" before the delivery date has passed, we'll display a message reminding them of the date. This saves you time answering unnecessary buyer questions."

Cross-Border Trade
The new head of eBay Marketplaces Devin Wenig has said facilitating cross-border trade is one of his top priorities, and eBay UK announced new features for sellers designed to help them with international selling.

Sellers can provide international postage details on domestic listings to get some visibility on international sites, which eBay calls "basic international selling." Or, they may choose to use "Advanced international selling," which enables them to tailor listings to the local market by setting prices in the local currency or listing in the local language by listing directly on to an international site.

eBay UK advises sellers, "You can list on international sites from your existing eBay account, but you'll be charged insertion fees for each item you list." but beginning in November, sellers will be able to create and manage listings on all European and Australian sites from their existing eBay.co.uk account for a single monthly subscription.

The service is actually that of an eBay Anchor Store and is clearly geared toward high-volume sellers - sellers must also be Top Rated Sellers to qualify. The subscription is £349.99, but there are zero insertion fees for 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled fixed price listings on domestic, European and Australian sites and 3-cent insertion fee for 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled fixed price listings on eBay.com. Final value fees are charged according to the site on which the item is listed. Next year, Anchor store owners will be able to create an eBay Shop for each site on which they list.

eBay UK is also introducing "Postage Costs Per Country" - beginning in September, sellers can set postage costs and services for each country when specifying international postage services in listings on eBay.co.uk. It explained, "This is helpful if you want to offer different services or costs for posting your item to different countries. (For example, £2.00 to Austria, £3.00 to Belarus and £4.00 to Belgium.)"

eBay UK Advises Sellers on Exposure in Google Product Search
Interestingly the eBay UK marketplace is advising sellers to add unique product identifiers to listings in order for them to appear in Google Product Search.

It's Google's requirement that the product identifiers be included in order to have listings appear in Google Product Search (eBay sends a feed of its sellers' listings to Google for inclusion). eBay UK will not make it mandatory to have unique product identifiers, rather, is driving home the point to sellers about Google's requirements.

Compliance Features
eBay UK is also making it easier for its merchants' listings to comply with certain EU regulations - beginning in October, sellers will be able to show both the selling price and its unit price. "For example," the marketplace explains, "you could create a listing for 10kg of washing powder at a selling price of £10, which would give you a unit price of £1 per kg."

And beginning September 25, all UK "Business sellers" must fill in the manufacturer warranty item specific field when listing New and New-other Electronics products and must provide details of what's covered in the manufacturer warranty in the item description.

Other Seller Requirements and Changes
eBay UK is updating its category structure in September - as a result, final value fees for listings in some categories may change and some categories may be removed. eBay said it would also align categories with eBay markets across Europe to better support international selling.

In the U.S., eBay will begin charging sellers for ending any auction listing early that has received at least one bid. (If the listing has a reserve price, the bid must be at or above the reserve price.) The policy goes into effect on October 1st - there does not appear to be a similar announcement for eBay UK sellers.

eBay UK is changing its duplicate listings policy beginning September 3rd - all auction-style listings with buy it now will be treated as fixed price listings - "You'll no longer be able to create multiple auction-style listings with buy it now for identical items," eBay explained. "You also won’t be able to create a fixed price listing and an auction-style listing with buy it now for the same item."

See the eBay UK Autumn Seller Update announcement to get more information on all of the changes announced in the UK today.

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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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