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eBay Fee Changes Are Part of 2016 Spring Seller Update

eBay is raising fees for Store owners and for optional features for items priced over $150, it revealed as part of its 2016 Spring Seller Update. It’s also making some major policy changes including a ban on active content that could prove disruptive to sellers in how they present their listing descriptions.

Also sure to be controversial is a decision to automatically generate a shortened description of a product that would be shown to mobile users. As we note in the EcommerceBytes Blog, sellers are already concerned that mobile shoppers are not reading descriptions carefully enough, leading to increased dissatisfaction and returns.

Here’s how eBay describes the changes to how listings will appear to mobile shoppers:

The new View Item description for mobile features a clean and consistent item description summary. eBay derives a brief, 250-character, text-only description summary from your full item description. This provides relevant listing information that allows shoppers to make fast, informed buying decisions.

For the summary, we determine which content in your full item description is most relevant by identifying keywords that shoppers use to search for your items. If your full item description uses basic HTML, CSS or text-only descriptions, and is no more than 800 characters, we will display the full description when buyers view your item description on their mobile devices.

Because the new View Item description summary is automatically generated by eBay, no action is required from you. If you want to highlight information that isn’t captured in our auto-generated summaries, you can choose the specific listing information you want to show using more advanced HTML options. This functionality is ideal for items that have unique characteristics, such as arts, antiques and collectibles.

Fee Changes: eBay will change the fees for eBay Stores and will increase fees for some optional features beginning in May, but only for items with a list price greater than $150. Basic Stores will cost an additional $12 per quarter (on an annual plan), and Premium Stores will cost an additional $30 per quarter (on an annual plan). But both Premium and Basic Stores will receive an increase in the zero insertion fee listing allotment for both fixed-price and auction formats. Anchor Stores will cost an additional $360 per quarter, and but will receive dedicated customer service.

Banning Active Content: eBay will also remove active content including JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions, Sellers use active content to cross-merchandise items, personalize and brand eBay stores, incorporate videos into listings, and provide links to eBay stores. This will also impact third-party vendors that offer inventory management services to sellers.

Updated User Agreement: eBay is changing its User Agreement, the new UA will take effect on April 5, 2016 for new users and on May 19, 2016 for all other users.

Sellers who fail to meet minimum performance standards may have their accounts limited, restricted, suspended, or downgraded, and there are changes to Returns and Cancellations section and Legal Disputes (“minor changes to our dispute resolution policy”). See more on this eBay Announcement Board post.

Much more: eBay also updated sellers about Product Reviews and said it would make its new Seller Hub the default tool for managing listings for all sellers this summer.

Some sellers are concerned over changes to the Vintage Clothing categories, and eBay is making a policy change that will impact Jewelry sellers.

We noticed sellers are bemused by eBay’s decision to offer shipping supplies, and eBay will host a seller gathering in Las Vegas this year in July.

There’s a lot to absorb, we’ll continue to analyze the changes and hear what eBay has to say about the changes. Here are some links to more information, and be sure to let us know what you think in the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Spring Seller Update Announcement – Link to Announcement Board post

Blog post about the changes from Hal Lawton, Senior Vice President of Marketplaces – Link to eBay blog

UK changes – UK Announcement Board post

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.