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eBay Eases Enforcement of Watermark Ban, at Least Temporarily


eBay logoeBay made it official a day after news leaked out it was rethinking its position on banning listings that contained watermarked images. Watermarks are generally used by sellers to guard against image-theft, which is quite rampant online.

The wording of eBay’s announcements in the US and UK were ambiguous, however. On the US Seller Announcement board on Thursday, eBay indicated it wanted to give sellers more time to comply. In the email eBay sent to UK sellers (hours before eBay notified US sellers), it indicated the policy would stand but eBay would not be enforcing it; the email gave no indication it was a temporary suspension of the policy enforcement.

It was less than satisfactory for another reason: eBay indicated listings containing watermarked images would receive less exposure.

Announcement follows:

In September, as part of our Fall Seller Release, we announced that listings with watermarked images would be removed from eBay search results beginning on March 1, 2018.

We know that buyers want to see products clearly before they make a purchase, and watermarks create a cluttered experience not consistent with retail standard. Watermarked images are also a primary reason Google rejects eBay-funded Google Shopping placements, meaning less visibility for your listings and decreased conversion.

As a result, we encourage you to remove watermarks from listings in order to enhance your reach and velocity on eBay.

However, we have received significant feedback about our upcoming enforcement and for this and other business reasons have decided that we will not enforce the removal of watermarks in March 2018 as originally planned. We know this is a crucial time of year, and we want you to be able to focus completely on selling.

Thank you to those who have already removed watermarks. We know in many cases this has been a significant effort. Because of those efforts, your listings will more likely be included in Google Shopping search, your products will be featured in our product-based shopping experience, and will be considered for our deals and seasonal promotions. And, eBay will even more delight buyers with a world-class retail experience.

We appreciate your efforts and always value your feedback.

SOURCE: eBay Announcement

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.