eBay is causing major confusion among sellers weekend thanks to messaging about International Site Visibility (ISV) that began appearing on Thursday. ISV is an optional upgrade that allows sellers in the U.S. to pay extra to have their eBay.com listings appear on other eBay country websites.
Sellers report receiving the following emails from eBay (some get the same message when relisting items for sale):
Hello (User ID),
You recently created or revised this eBay listing that included the International Site Visibility feature:
(Listing ID and title)
However, we had to remove International Site Visibility from your listing. Of course, we won’t be charging you the fee for it.
Because the laws and eBay policies vary by country, sometimes items that can be listed in your country can’t be listed internationally. It’s also possible that the listing itself violated an eBay policy in another country. In situations like this, we automatically remove the International Site Visibility feature from the listing.
But sellers who have reported the new message say they are not using the ISV feature and are confused about why they began receiving the messages.
Currently U.S. sellers have two ways to sell internationally on eBay. They can opt to use the International Site Visibility listing upgrade, for which eBay charges a fee. Or they can list an item directly on another country’s eBay website. The international site visibility feature allows qualifying listings created on eBay.com to be posted on international sites (such as the UK site). Buyers on these sites will see the listings exactly as sellers originally post them on the US site.
Some sellers believe the messages that began appearing late last week were caused by a glitch, since eBay has not announced any changes to the ISV feature.
If eBay is doing away with the feature, it’s not because cross border trade is any less important. On the contrary, eBay has been focused on global expansion, and 20% of its transactions occur across borders.
eBay is taking a different approach to international visibility of listings, and it just announced its intention to acquire technology that will help it in its efforts to translate sellers’ listings into multiple languages for portals such as its Russian marketplace.
There are several reports about this message on the Ecommerce EKG board where readers indicate if they are receiving these emails or not.
Update 6/17/14: eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said eBay is not retiring the ISV feature, see this EcommerceBytes Blog post.