eBay Vice President of Seller Experience Bob Kupbens published a post on Tuesday in which he addressed some of the changes eBay has been making without having made any announcements (though he couched his message as bringing positive news to sellers, titling the post: “Bob’s Blog: Bringing More Buyers and Sales to You in 2017”).
Toward the end of his post, Kupbens wrote a section called, “We’ve also taken a few steps recently to benefit the marketplace” – here are some significant disclosures sellers should keep in mind.
Beginning this month, eBay will not allow sellers to revise or relist listings that are missing valid identifiers; starting in September, Good Til Cancelled listings will no longer automatically renew.
At least with that change, sellers will know something is wrong. In the next bombshell, Kupbens wrote:
“Stronger marketplace protection: Also starting this month for the small group of sellers who repeatedly violate important eBay policies like completing transactions outside of eBay checkout, their active listings will be suppressed from search and browse results in line with selling restrictions.”
We’ve heard from sellers who said they have received warnings without cause in which eBay says it believes they are attempting to take transactions off the eBay site. That means it’s possible that sellers who are incorrectly identified as violating eBay policy may never know their listings that not being seen by shoppers (presumably while eBay continues to charge listing fees).
There’s a lot of anxiety about this issue – sellers say sometimes buyers send them messages containing their address or phone number and fear eBay will blame the seller.
On Wednesday’s Weekly Chat session, an eBay moderator wrote in response to one concerned seller over buyer messages (who provided the following example: “I’ll pay you x amt over your asking price, just send me your pp address, etc.”) The moderator responded:
“I wanted to start out by saying that responding to these kinds of offers to confirm that you will keep your sales on eBay is the best course of action should we have concerns of an off eBay sale. If you do not receive any kind of warning message from our automated filters and are looking to make sure it is reported, you can reach out to customer service to have it reviewed. Our goal is to have our filters catch any instances of off eBay sales requests, and by touching base with a customer service agent we can ensure this is not only actioned appropriately, but looked into in detail to see why it was missed by our automated process.”
Finally, in Kupbens’ recent post, he said eBay is removing not only duplicate listings (which are against eBay policy), but has already removed “non-performing” listings as well. What’s most interesting is the reason eBay gave for removing listings that hadn’t sold recently (he says 2 years or more, we’ve heard less than that): “To improve the speed and performance of the site.”
While eBay didn’t announce this listing purge until July 11th, AuctionBytes columnist Bob wrote about this “Spring Cleaning” in May, offering solid advice for sellers on what was happening and what steps to take – as he noted, eBay’s purges could end up deleting sellers’ information and photos, advising sellers to make sure they had made backup copies of all their work.
Take a look at the other interesting aspects of Kupbens email in this EcommerceBytes Blog post, and let us know what you think, and consider joining eBay sellers in commenting directly on Kupbens’ post as well, where many are lambasting eBay’s Immediate Payment Required policy change.